"My experiences in Iraq made my convictions stronger... In the end I felt that I had to listen to my conscience."
— Agustin Aguayo
Agustín Aguayo, a 35-year-old Army medic and conscientious objector, was convicted of desertion and missing movement on March 6 in a U.S. military court in Germany. Although he faced a maximum of seven years, Agustín was sentenced to eight months in the brig for resisting redeployment to Iraq (see Courage to Resist's report from Germany). Since he had been imprisoned pending trial since September, he was released from the brig on April 18.
Agustín is still in the Army for the time being, and he is still in Germany. We are expecting his unit give him leave during his transition out of the Army so that he can come home, hopefully within a couple of weeks. However, Agustin's wife Helga notes, "For now the sad truth is it seems that the unit's inefficiency will keep him in Germany a while longer—an undetermined amount of time."
In a statement Helga wrote Wednesday, she added, "I am saddened that to date my husband has not been recognized as a conscientious objector (CO). I do not think the system has been fair to my husband, a man who served in Iraq and came back a decorated veteran. It saddens me that our daughters continue to live without their daddy and question why he is not back if he is supposedly, "free."
"We are preparing for a "welcome back" for him as well as a "victory tour" [details coming soon]. Much work is still needed! We need to bring awareness to his case and advocate for any future COs. As a consequence we intend on fighting this to the end."
Related video: http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/260/36/