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Marine Jailed for Refusing to Pick Up Gun

By ESTES THOMPSON
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A soldier who re-enlisted with the Marines after becoming a Seventh-Day Adventist has been jailed for refusing to pick up a gun.

Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz, 24, of Birch Run, Mich., was sentenced last month in a court-martial to seven months in Camp Lejeune's brig. He also received a reduction in rank to private and a bad conduct discharge.

Klimkewicz was charged with refusing to obey order two years to draw a weapon from his unit's armory for a training exercise in preparation for an Iraq deployment.

In refusing the order, Klimkewicz told his superiors he was a conscientious objector and cited his new status as a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

The church supports noncombatant status for its members who serve in the military, but leaves such decisions to a member's individual conscience.

Klimkewicz joined an Adventist church in Jacksonville before he re-enlisted in 2003. He sought conscientious objector status, which was rejected last March.

``Conscientious objector status has to be granted,'' said Capt. Jeff Pool, a spokesman for the 2nd Marine Division at Lejeune. ``Since his package was denied, it was just simply disobeying an order. That is what he was charged with.''

The timing of Klimkewicz's conversion and re-enlistment were issues in his case, church attorney Mitchell Tyner said Tuesday. The Marine Corps said he should have known better than to re-enlist after joining the church, he said.

``Marines are not big on this kind of thing,'' Tyner said in a telephone interview from the church office in Silver Spring, Md. ``The whole thing comes down to the timing.''

Tyner said Klimkewicz was to be one of 10 troops sent to Iraq as replacements for other Marines. He told authorities he would work removing mines in Iraq, but did not want to carry a weapon.


You damn hippy! Get the hell out of the armed services and go back to selling coloring books at the airport with your friends. :up_yours:
 

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Hey!

He's got a BCD so there goes his employment opportunities. I think whats important is to give the guy credit for initial choice to serve. Then he made choice to re-enlist after becoming adventist. Is he a deserter? Did he run in the face of the enemy? NO!

This is America, let him go, he'll pay enough for his choice with a BCD
:roll:
 
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