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"People were coming in missing legs, missing arms. They had to be put on feeding tubes, they weren't able to breathe without help of a machine," Walcott said. "At the time, I was dealing with a lot of emotional problems. I was pretty messed up from dealing with work at the hospital. It was a rewarding job, but it was very, very difficult. So I'd asked to be put somewhere that was non deployable, so I could get mental help, which the command graciously decided not to let me do."
Walking with them through the land mines of immigration law and asylum petitions is Whitefish Bay native, now Toronto attorney, Jeffry House.
"I joke about it a little bit," Walcott said, "and call Canada my fifth deployment. It's just like any other deployment I've had. I'm here, the customs are a little different, and I'm not allowed to leave."
Glass now sits chain smoking in a Toronto, Canada apartment with other American servicemen who've walked away from war, their way of life and their world.
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Many people think about the Vietnam War draft dodgers when they hear about people heading to Canada to avoid military service, but the soldiers in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War are part of an all volunteer force.
"As far as I know there's an FBI warrant out for my arrest," Walcott admitted. "I reenlisted before I knew anything was wrong. (I) was with the military police and all we ever did was run convoys around a very little part of Iraq."
Walcott said his view of the war changed shortly after an assignment at the Landstuhl military hospital in Germany.
"I signed up before the invasion of Iraq," Corey Glass said in his Toronto apartment. "I joined the National Guard thinking it was a humanitarian organization."
"Staying there is, you're fleeing what you believe in, right?," Glass said. "You're fleeing your belief in murder and all these other things, you're just doing it because you're scared of what they're going to do to you. But coming here, you're losing everything. You're fighting them because you're losing your family. You're losing it all."
it anymore. I didn't think it was right," Glass said. "They weren't taking any of it. They were just thinking I was getting stressed out. They said, 'You're getting stressed out,' and send me home. (I was) on leave Nike Air More Uptempo New Release for like two weeks. I told them I wasn't coming back. I never showed back up."
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"Obviously there's a kind of courage in going to Iraq, even when you think it's wrong, and killing people, even when you think it's wrong," House said. for refusing to fight an illegal war. House hasn't wot a case in the immigration courts, but recently took his argument to Canada's federal court. A decision is still pending.
Glass and Walcott are counting on House to convince Canada to let them stay, but they're also watching the American government.
"Basically, our job there was to make sure the injured and dying Marines were made as comfortable as possible," Walcott said.
House represents about three dozen American deserters. He estimates there are a couple hundred in Canada.
"I'm hoping against hope that cooler heads will prevail," Walcott sighed, "and that we'll finally be able to come home to our families.
"I went to Iraq because I was ordered to, like I did what they told me to do, but I started feeling way too wrong about it," Glass told 12 News' Investigative Reporter Colleen Henry. "I could talk to certain people, but I couldn't dig too deep to find out some things, like changes from like civilians being like, killed, to like, so now they're insurgents. How does that change?"
to make on her story? You can submit your questions on our discussion forum and Colleen will answer them.
away and headed for the border rather than the brig. They crossed paths in Toronto and are now roommates and comrades in a legal battle to stay in Canada because they can't go back home.
After Walcott arrived, there was a rush of casualties from a bombing at a mess hall in Mosul, Iraq.
Glass is an Army National Guardsman from Indiana. He said he joined to help people and never expected to end up in Iraq, in Military Intelligence. Glass said his job gave his conscience pause; he filed casualty reports for Army brass.
"I came to Canada in the 1970s drafted but didn't want to serve in Vietnam," House said.
Glass and Walcott know Canada could deprt them if they don't get asylum. They could face months to years in the brig if they return to the United States.
There is an untold story of the war in Iraq a story about soldiers who have gone to Canada to avoid going back to Iraq.
Both Glass and Walcott said they asked superiors to keep them out of Iraq, but their requests were dismissed. They both walked Nike Uptempo Supreme Cheap
Dean Walcott is a Marine from Connecticut. He volunteered to serve in Iraq.
12 News Finds Service Members Who Fled To Canada To Avoid War
"There was a lot of times that families would come to visit them in the hospital and see their dead or dying son or daughter, and (they) would yell at us and would hit us. It was misdirected anger, but to my way of thinking, it was understandable," Walcott said.
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