In plea agreement, soldier who refused Iraq return is sentenced to 11 months
Stars and Stripes October 11, 2004
A Vilseck-based soldier accused of faking mental illness to avoid serving in Iraq was sentenced Thursday to 11 months in prison, according to the 1st Infantry Division’s staff judge advocate.
Spc. Jason Lux, 24, of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, pleaded guilty to two counts of missing a troop movement. As part of a plea agreement, military prosecutors dropped a charge of malingering, said Capt. Jonathan Larcomb, the division’s senior trial counsel.
Larcomb said Lux had been sent home to Germany in mid-March, six weeks after the 2-2 Infantry deployed to Iraq, to undergo an emergency appendectomy. After his convalescent leave ended, he was allowed to stay three extra weeks to see the birth of his child.
Then Lux told his commanders he was depressed and suicidal and unable to return to Iraq. Three psychiatrists, Larcomb said, pronounced Lux fit to deploy, and his command scheduled him to fly back in June.
The first time he went to his psychiatrist, and the second time he refused to go — although, Larcomb said, he had been offered a noncombat job. His attorney, Capt. Rob Stelle, said in court Lux had told his command he feared he might hurt himself or someone else if he deployed.
Besides the jail time, the judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, ordered Lux to forfeit all pay during his jail term, reduced him to the lowest enlisted rank and handed him a bad-conduct discharge.