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 Iraq vet says he won’t return



By THERESA HOGUE

Gazette-Times reporter

After two deployments, order discount remeron online Marine doesn’t want to go back, order discount remeron online could face jail


 When Benjamin Lewis was 17, order discount remeron online he joined the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program, order discount remeron online looking for a new direction in his life. Order discount remeron online

He had dropped out of school and was struggling. Order discount remeron online

The military seemed like a good option.
 

After two deployments to Iraq, order discount remeron online and an honorable discharge, order discount remeron online Lewis, order discount remeron online now 23, order discount remeron online recently learned that he might be involuntarily redeployed to the region. Order discount remeron online

He’s decided that he’s not going back, order discount remeron online even if it means facing imprisonment.
 

The road to that decision was a long one.
 Back in California, order discount remeron online Lewis’s recruiter talked him into going back to school to get his diploma before heading to boot camp in San Diego. Order discount remeron online

After three months of infantry training, order discount remeron online he joined the Third Battalion Fourth Marines in 29 Palms, order discount remeron online Calif. Order discount remeron online

They deployed in 2004, order discount remeron online where the battalion participated in the first assault against Fallujah, order discount remeron online supporting front-line infantry.
 After a crash course in Arabic, order discount remeron online Lewis became a translator for his platoon on patrols. Order discount remeron online

He spent a lot of time on foot patrols in Haditha, order discount remeron online living for months with local policemen there, order discount remeron online sometimes working long hours with almost no sleep.
 

“We were really just making a show of force, order discount remeron online marching around the streets and making a show of our presence.

”
 After returning to the United States following their first tour, order discount remeron online the battalion was redeployed to Iraq in 2005. Order discount remeron online

They operated a vehicle checkpoint in Fallujah for seven months.
 “It was a very long and stagnant tour, order discount remeron online” he said.
 



He spent the last year of his service as an urban combat instructor in California for the Marine’s Mojave Viper operation, order discount remeron online where he realized that teaching suited him.
 

“That was almost like being deployed. Order discount remeron online It was 14-hour days. Order discount remeron online

You’d get a couple days off every 20 days or so.”
 In 2007, order discount remeron online Lewis was honorably discharged from active duty. Order discount remeron online

He moved to Corvallis and enrolled at Linn-Benton Community College to pursue a dual degree in philosophy and English literature. Order discount remeron online

He planned eventually to work with peace organizations. Order discount remeron online

But two months ago, order discount remeron online Lewis learned he was being considered for involuntary reactivation under the military’s 2004 Individual Ready Reserves provision.
 

As a Marine, order discount remeron online Lewis had made an eight-year commitment to the Marines, order discount remeron online so although he was discharged, order discount remeron online he was still eligible for redeployment. Order discount remeron online

But in the year since Lewis had left the Marines, order discount remeron online he’d realized that he did not agree with the Marine Corps’ actions in Iraq, order discount remeron online or with the United States’ involvement in the region.
 

Last month, order discount remeron online Lewis went to Kansas City, order discount remeron online Mo., order discount remeron online for muster, order discount remeron online or formal military inspection. Order discount remeron online

At that time, order discount remeron online he and other Marines were told that they’d receive their formal orders within two months. Order discount remeron online

Lewis is now waiting to hear the final word, order discount remeron online but said he has long since decided to refuse to reactivate.
 

Lewis has contacted groups such as Courage to Resist and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Order discount remeron online

He’s consulted attorneys about what might happen if he refuses. Order discount remeron online

He said he’s prepared for jail time, order discount remeron online if that is the result, order discount remeron online but until that time, order discount remeron online he’s speaking out against the war.


 “After being in the Marine Corps and joining up with the intention of helping people and hoping to execute those romantic ideals you see in the advertisement, order discount remeron online” he said, order discount remeron online “once you’re there you realize not only are you not capable of doing it, order discount remeron online you’re in an organization that suppresses any individual will to do such things.

”
 Lewis started having these thoughts while training other Marines during his time with Mojave Viper. Order discount remeron online

He said that having some distance from Iraq, order discount remeron online and time to learn more about how the United States got into the war originally, order discount remeron online gave him a new perspective.
 “I was able to be more objective, order discount remeron online and I was watching these mentalities, order discount remeron online” he said. Order discount remeron online

“They started to scare me, order discount remeron online the convictions that people had over things that were complete fallacies.”


 Later this month, order discount remeron online Lewis plans to fly to Washington, order discount remeron online D.C., order discount remeron online to talk to activists there. Order discount remeron online

He is trying to start an Iraqi Veterans Against the War chapter in Portland with a satellite in Corvallis. Order discount remeron online

He’s been writing about his experiences and his convictions. Order discount remeron online He’s interested in talking to other Iraq war veterans who have served since Sept. Order discount remeron online 11, order discount remeron online 2001, order discount remeron online and he’s asking them to contact him at corvallisivaw@gmail.com.
 

He’s also awaiting his final orders, order discount remeron online and he’s dealing with the reality that his decisions could mean he’ll face jail time.
 “I made the resolve once I left 29 Palms that I would never go back into the Marine Corps.”

Original article can be found at:

http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2008/11/11/news/community/6aaa04_lewissnd.prt