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Katherine Jashinski's Statement



PHOTO ALBUM

Statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005 by SPC Katherine Jashinski, first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war:

My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old. When I graduated high school I moved to Austin, TX to attend college. At age 19 I enlisted in the Guard as a cook because I wanted to experience military life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to the rule.

After enlisting I began the slow transformation into adulthood. Like many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through a period of growth and soul searching. I encountered many new people and ideas that broadly expanded my narrow experiences. After reading essays by Bertrand Russel and traveling to the South Pacific and talking to people from all over the world, my beliefs about humanity and its relation to war changed. I began to see a bigger picture of the world and I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught about war as a child. I developed the belief that taking human life was wrong and war was no exception. I was then able to clarify who I am and what it is that I stand for.

The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never take another person's life.

Just as others have faith in God, I have faith in humanity

I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. Violence only begets more violence.

Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army, contributes in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war.

For eighteen months, while my CO status was pending, I have honored my commitment to the Army and done everything that they asked of me. However, I was ordered to Ft. Benning last Sunday to complete weapons training in preparation to deploy for war.

Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole, and this is more important than any contract.

I have come to my beliefs through personal, intense, reflection and study. They are everything that I am and all that I stand for. After much thought and contemplation about the effect my decision will have on my future, my family, the possibility of prison, and the inevitable scorn and ridicule that I will face, I am completely resolute.

I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.

What characterizes a conscientious objector is their willingness to face adversity and uphold their values at any cost. We do this not because it is easy or popular, but because we are unable to do otherwise. Thank you.

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As a very young man I too joined the service believing that war was an inseparable part of life; that the life of the professional soldier was a way to serve ones nation with honor. As a vet of the Korean Police Action, I learned at first hand the horrors of war, yet served eight years and three days to be finally honorably discharged.
My service was nothing exceptional. Though I spent a year in combat I was never in a situation that required me to fire my rifle at anyone. I neither killed or injured any one; was never wounded; committed or participated in nor observed any illegal behavior by any of our troops.
Still and all, my personal "soul searching" brought me to the place that I had to leave the service and try to make a new life as a civilian, a task about which I knew very little indeed, and for which I was not at all prepared. BUT I COULD NO LONGER BE A PART OF THE MILITARY AND STILL LIVE WITH MYSELF. I do not regret my service. I did my time as best I could and leaving was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, for I loved my country then as fiercely as I do now.
So, young lady I understand more than a little of what you are having to do. I just wish that there was something I could do or say that would be a help to you, but my experience has been that this road , in the end, must be walked pretty much alone.
It has been over 45 years since I left the service. While I have never amounted to much, I STILL HAVE NEVER KILLED ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, NOR TORTURED ANYBODY, OR EVEN HARMED ANYONE...AND HAVING WALKED THE ROAD I HAVE WALKED, THAT IS SOMETHING IN ITSELF, so all I can leave you with is "STICK TO YOUR PATH AND BE TRUE TO YOUR SELF."
Best wishes....Always....from an oldgringo

THERE R OTHER WAYS 2 RUN A PLANET !

Meria Heller Show, With Roger Drowne EC ( About Community )

Meet Roger Drowne EC of www.OneGlobalCommunity.com A Earth Citizen Project as we discuss community.

How the community idea can bring the entire world together for peace, justice and humanitarianism worldwide.

Yesterday the whole world showed the power of the people in community, today's show takes it to a local level and how we can change the world and politics from the ground floor up.

Shopping at a mall isn't supporting your local community. When the dollars go to the multinational corporations they LEAVE the community.

Local business is good for the community. Community centers are a place to meet your neighbors, local politicians, and begin real reform that can reach to the Supreme Court. Thom Hartmann points this out well in his book "Unequal Protection" (see my book list at www.MeriaHeller.com) .

We've got good momentum going worldwide for peace, now let's get it going on a local level for understanding and knowing our neighbors, neighborhoods and taking care of our social problems without depending or waiting on our government to do it.

The power IS the people.

M.H.

Thank U, Mr. THERE R OTHER WAYS 2 RUN A PLANET !
.

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