Monday, April 09, 2007

Perspective: Out, and On the Lam

Left: Lance Hering, a 21-year old Marine lance corporal, staged his own disappearance to avoid returning to Iraq in August of last year. He had the help of a friend, who claimed Hering had fallen 30 feet during a rock climb. Videotape later showed Hering had boarded a bus in Denver 3 hours before the alleged fall. Hering is still missing. A soldier is considered a deserter if he leaves his post without permission, quits his unit or fails to report for duty with the intent of staying away permanently. AWOL soldiers are automatically classified as deserters if they remain away for more than 30 days.

The number of active-duty soldiers who deserted the Army last year is higher than previously reported—at 3,301, the military said last week. (The Army said the original figure was tallied incorrectly.) Deserters are branded after abandoning their posts without permission for 30 days. The tally is hardly at Vietnam War levels, but it's still significant for an all-volunteer military.

Read the rest at Newsweek