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Marines detain Vietnam resister

By Eric Ruder | January 6, 2006 | Page 2

THE MARINES have decided to prosecute yet another war resister. But this case has a twist: It's 40 years old. Jerry Texiero refused orders to deploy to an illegal and unjust war half a world away--not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in Vietnam.

Jerry refused combat in July 1965. For more than 40 years, he ran a classic car business in Florida. As the result of a larceny conviction stemming from the corrupt dealings of a business partner, a unit charged with apprehending Marines who don't turn up for duty recently matched his current whereabouts to his military file.

Local police arrested him August 14, 2005, and in December, he was transferred to a Marine brig at Fort LeJeune, N.C. The Marines are now contemplating whether to court-martial Jerry for desertion, which carries a possible five-year prison term.

"Why are scarce Marine resources being squandered on the prosecution of a senior citizen whose only 'crime' is refusing to fight a war that today is universally discredited?" asked Citizen Soldier legal director Tod Ensign in a letter to Camp LeJeune base commander Major Gen. Robert Dickinson. "Or is the Corps warning Marines in Iraq that they will pursue deserters to the grave?"

In the coming weeks, Vietnam veterans and others plan to demonstrate in support of Jerry on or near Camp LeJeune.

Send letters of protest on Jerry's behalf to Base Commander Major General Robert Dickinson, or Col. Wunder, Staff Judge Advocate, PSC Box 2004, Camp LeJeune, NC 28542, or call at 910-451-1113.

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