Military Deserters and Tycer's Textile

Deserter Storm

Learn to cope: Your article "Gimmie Shelter" [by Megan Feldman, March 12] seems to want people to have a "pity the poor girl" attitude towards Kim Rivera. From what I gathered from the article, she (1) married someone who is unable or unwilling to hold a job long term; (2) had children that she could not afford; (3) expected her parents to provide housing for her and her family; (4) enlisted in the armed forces to remove herself from poverty; and (5) ran away from (deserted) her obligation to serve in the armed forces.

As a social worker, I see the need for her and her husband to learn some coping skills to deal with her life issues, and as a retired Marine, I think she needs to tighten her bootstraps and walk the walk she set up for herself.

Eddie Deroulet

Online readers weigh in:

Narcissist: Why does the author of this article seemed surprised that Rivera took her husband's name? Because he's Hispanic? So? Most women take their husband's name. Does the author think it was a strange practice for a white woman to not only marry a Hispanic, but to take his name?

Also, Rivera is a narcissist. She is obviously bitter. First, she gets mad when her husband works; then, when he takes vacation, she gets mad he's not working. Through this whole thing, her whole attitude is "me, me, me." Look what this has done to me. She's an idiot and a narcissist and really deserves no compassion. There's a short sentence where she claims some semblance of responsibility, but other than that, no mention how she uprooted her whole family. She doesn't say anything about uprooting her two kids and moving them to another country.

Rivera is not against the war per se. She wanted a free ride without having to work for it. She makes up reasons to be against the war. She feigns offense at how Americans supposedly treat Iraqis. She couldn't care less about them. She cares only about herself. She's the worst type of deserter — she signed up voluntarily, was fine with it until deployed (it's not like she spent years there; she spent a few months in Iraq) and now claims to be an objector. I wish the Press at least found a more worthy subject for their story.

Comment by Billy Deez from Houston

Take responsibility: Maybe if this woman and her husband didn't keep having children they couldn't afford, she wouldn't be trying to get a free ride and be "forced by poverty" to join the military. A little personal responsibility, please.

Comment by Helena from Houston

Duh: I am confused by Rivera. She kept having kids with her husband while she worked at Wal-Mart. If she was worried about the pressures of having a young family, married or not, there's an aisle in Wal-Mart that she should have checked out. Hint: It's not the aisle with the mops and brooms.

Then she joins the army so she can make more money and lose weight. I guess she thought, "Oh yeah, and our country's at war, but I'm not going to see any of that action, right? I'll just make money by going to boot camp and lose weight in the process, like I'm being paid to lose weight! Score!"

Once she's actually in Iraq, which is like totally a bummer town, y'all, especially since, you know, there's a war going on there, she witnesses atrocities and gets homesick and wants out. How exactly is her experience different from, oh, just about every other person stationed there? I'll buy that she might have had a crisis of conscience, but all the reasons she gave for joining — i.e., money, weight loss — seem like some weird pipe dream sold by a3 a.m. infomercial. She motored to Canadawith her kids, and now they might deport her.Well, that's a big bag of "duh" if there everwas one.

Comment by njtx71

Can't condemn: It seems as though this entire comment section is the "pick on Kim" section — and forget the article. I can see where she was disillusioned, and if you stopped a moment and thought about it, maybe you would better understand. She, like many others, joined the services because she had goals — income, college education — that recruiters loudly advertise and promise enlisting will achieve. Recruiters appeal to most young people saying it will solve their current problems and brighten their futures. But recruiters lie. They don't give the entire story. Some will promise that no war front will ever be visited if you choose one thing or another.

The people in Canada and hiding at home all have good reasons — good personal reasons — for leaving when they did. I cannot condemn them when our country has turned our backs on them. The ones that went in solely for income, then left because of the horrible things they saw or were forced to do — don't you know that they wouldn't have gone and joined up had our country been there for them before they made this drastic decision? Think about it.

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