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After jail stint, deserter Aguayo returning to L.A.

Mideast edition, Thursday, May 10, 2007

Three weeks after being released from military prison, former Army medic Agustin Aguayo is going home.

Aguayo was found guilty March 6 of desertion and missing movement and sentenced to eight months’ confinement. Credited with 161 days served leading up to his court-martial, he was released from the Mannheim Confinement Facility on April 18.

His conviction stems from incidents on Sept. 1-2, when he jumped out of his bedroom window in Schweinfurt to avoid a second deployment to Iraq. Had Aguayo deployed, he would have been serving 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment as a combat medic. Since beginning its yearlong deployment last summer, the battalion has lost 11 soldiers.

Scheduled to leave from Frankfurt International Airport on Thursday morning, Aguayo will make his way to the Los Angeles area, where his family resides, according to an e-mail from the Military Counseling Network. Aguayo previously had sought help from the agency to obtain a conscientious objector discharge from the Army.

“The last time he was at Frankfurt International, he was in handcuffs and [an old uniform], and huge [military policemen] were escorting him around. I don’t think we’ll have quite the same visual this time around,” the agency’s Michael J. Sharp stated in an e-mail.

According to its Web site, the “MCN is a non-military network of organizations prepared to provide free counseling service to those soldiers who are questioning going to war or want to know more about military discharges and regulations.”

He originally filed for conscientious objector status two days before he was scheduled to leave on his first deployment in 2004.


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