TORONTO, CANADA - Sgt. Patrick Hart, who was stationed in Bosnia in the '90s, said when he was deployed to Kuwait in 2003, he was horrified by tales from other U.S. soldiers who boasted about killing Iraqi civilians and picking human flesh and hair out of the grills of their vehicles after running over Iraqi children.
"In '95 I had a sense that the U.S. was the good guy, and when I was deployed in 2003, a lot of the stories I was hearing, I wasn't hearing of heroic deeds or anything of that nature. It was stuff that made me disgusted to be an American soldier," Hart said.
So after nine years in the Army, Sgt. Hart, who grew up in Buffalo. NY, deserted his 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky., in August, 2005 because of his opposition to the Iraq war.
His wife, Jill, who also grew up in Buffalo, said she was a fiercely patriotic and a loyal military supporter and wife. "I was initially angered and shocked by my husband's desertion.", she said.
But when military officials threatened her and her son, Rian, with harm in the days immediately after Patrick deserted, she severed all ties to the military.
She gripped her husband's hand yesterday as the two spoke of their hopes of becoming Canadian citizens -- just hours after the Canadian Border Services Agency denied the couple their bid to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Read the article for a glimpse of the collusion of the U.S.-Canadian effort to make an example of this young family who "dared to speak out".