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Shocker: Booted Soldier To Return Iraq Medals

From a breathless Associated Press:

Iraq vet plans to return his medals in protest

By Ryan J. Foley Wednesday Sep 26, 2007

MADISON, Wis. — An Iraq war veteran said Tuesday he is returning his military medals in what anti-war groups are calling a rare and powerful protest.

Josh Gaines, 27, plans to mail the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and National Defense Service Medal to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He said he will do so during a protest scheduled for Wednesday in Madison.

“I’m going to give those back because I truly feel that I did not defend my nation and I did not help with the Global War on Terrorism,” said Gaines, who lives in Madison. “If anything, this conflict has bred more terrorism in the Middle East.”

Gaines served a yearlong tour in Iraq between 2004 and 2005 with the U.S. Army Reserve. He spent his time guarding two military bases and issuing ammunition to soldiers but never fired a weapon, he said.

The experience convinced him the war was a mistake and that a steady withdrawal of troops was the right course of action, Gaines said…

Jonathan Dedering, a Students for a Democratic Society activist who is helping organize Wednesday’s protest, said it’s extremely rare for Iraq veterans to return their medals. The tactic was a more common form of protest among Vietnam veterans.

“To many Americans this will be a very big deal,” Dedering said in an e-mail message…

Gaines said he is returning the medals awarded when he left active duty in 2005 to Rumsfeld because he is “the man responsible for my tour.” He said he would likely send them to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where Rumsfeld was recently hired to be a visiting fellow…

Gaines said he was given an “other than honorable” discharge after failing a drug test. He said he started smoking marijuana after he returned from Iraq to help him eat and sleep after he had trouble doing either for months

This article was forwarded to me by Rakkasan, who also noted that:

Even if a soldier throws their medals back, they are still on their DD214. It is a lame symbolic gesture. They can just go to the military Clothing and Sales and buy more. Stupid pot smoking hippie…. He can’t throw his “less than honorable” back, can he?

No, he can’t.

I wonder also if this gentleman isn’t also getting some kind of government hand out for some real or imagine disability, as is so common amongst these America-hating “veterans.”

Still, it’s all strangely redolent of that other great war hero, John Kerry.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 28th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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