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Week of 8.24.07

AWOL

Video: AWOL
Video icon Video: AWOL
Choosing to go to war is both a government's decision and one made by individual enlistees. But changing your mind once you're in the army is a risky decision with serious consequences. This week, we talk to two soldiers who went AWOL and eventually left the Army, but who took very different paths. NOW shows one man turning himself in and captures the moment another applies for refugee status in Canada, becoming one of the more than 20,000 service members who have deserted the Army since the war in Iraq began. Each describes what drove him to follow his conscience over his call to duty, and what penalties and criticism were endured as a result.

"I see things differently having lived through the experience," former army medic Agustin Aguayo tells NOW. "When I returned from Iraq, after much reflection I knew deep within me I could never go back."

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The official homepage for Agustin Aguayo

The War Resister's Support Campaign (Canada)

More from NOW:

Back to the Front

Audio interview with army deserter Camilo Mejia

No End in Sight

Topic Search: Iraq War, Defense/Military, Freedom of Speech (Search all Three)


Also This Week: A Living Wage

Also on NOW this week, we reexamine the fight for a "living wage"--the pay needed to cover an actual week's worth of living--on the Nashville, Tennessee campus of Vanderbilt University. The chancellor there earns $1.2 million a year, the endowment is $3 billion, but some of the school's lowest-paid workers--groundskeepers, custodians, and dining service workers--earn less than $8.00 an hour. NOW travels to Nashville to talk with workers, university staff, and activists including actor Danny Glover about the striking gap not just between Vanderbilt's budget allocations, but between disparate people who share a common loyalty to campus and school.

About the Show: A Living Wage

A Student's Perspective

A College Sustainability Report Card