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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Deserter's Tale for showing
us the war crimes we ask our soldiers to do in order to
terrorise the civilian population.

The Deserter's Tale
The Story of an Ordinary Soldier
Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq

The Deserter's Tale by Joshua Key and Lawrence Hill
(2007) - 256 pages
The Deserter's Tale at Amazon.com

I never thought I would lose my country, and never dreamed it would lose me. I was raised as a patriotic American, taught to respect my government and to believe in my president. A decade ago, I would have laughed out loud if somebody had predicted that I would live as a fugitive in my own country and turn my wife and children into refugees as I fled with them across the border.

I know that many Americans have their minds made up about people like me. They think we are cowards. I don't blame them. I had my own mind made up about war deserters, long before I set foot in Iraq. But I am not a coward; the easiest thing would have been to keep on doing what they were telling me to do. But ever so slowly, as the jets raced overhead and the illumination rounds burned and the houses fell during the long Iraqi nights, my conscience returned. I am not this man, I told myself. I cannot do these things any longer.

This is the story of how that voice finally grew louder than the rumbling of tanks and the blaze of gunfire and the hollering of commanders. This is the story of how I went to Iraq as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army, of what I did to the Iraqi people, and what I saw other Americans do to them, and why I deserted the war and became an outlaw in my own country. I was made to be a criminal in Iraq, but I am a criminal no longer, and I am never going back.

The Deserter’s Tale is the first memoir from a soldier who deserted from the war in Iraq, and a vivid and damning indictment of the American military campaign. In spring 2003, young Oklahoman Joshua Key was sent to Ramadi as part of a combat engineer company. It was not the campaign against terrorists and evildoers he had expected. Key saw Iraqi civilians beaten, shot, and killed, or maimed for little or no provocation. After seven months in Iraq, Key was home on leave and knew he could not return. So he took his family and went underground in the United States, finally seeking asylum in Canada after fourteen months in hiding. Detailing the grinding horrors of life as part of an occupying force, The Deserter’s Tale is the story of a conservative-minded family man and patriot who went to war believing unquestioningly in his government’s commitment to integrity and justice, and how what he saw in Iraq transformed him into someone who could no longer serve his country.

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The Deserter's Tale
The Story of an Ordinary Soldier
Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse The Deserter's Tale for showing
us the war crimes we ask our soldiers to do in order to
terrorise the civilian population.