Soldier who refused 2nd Iraq tour is released
April 19, 2007
Agustin Aguayo — the Army private who jumped out of his bedroom window to avoid a second deployment to Iraq — was released from military prison Wednesday.
Found guilty of desertion and missing movement at a March 6 court-martial at Leighton Barracks in Würzburg, Germany, Aguayo was sentenced to eight months’ confinement, but was credited with 161 days served, having been incarcerated at Mannheim Confinement Facility since late September.
Aguayo’s release came just a day after the Pentagon announced the deaths of two 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment soldiers, and the day before a memorial ceremony in Schweinfurt for three others in his unit.
So far, the unit has suffered nine fatalities since deploying in August and September. If Aguayo had deployed, he would have been serving in the 1-18 as a combat medic.
Aside from confinement, Aguayo, 35, was also given a bad-conduct discharge, which he has since appealed, Lt. Col. Elizabeth Hibner, a U.S. Army Europe spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
According to Hibner, because of the appeal, Aguayo has two decisions: either stay as a member of his unit until the process is completed, or request voluntary excess leave from the Army and go stateside to his home of record.
Leave requires approval of the regional court-martial convening authority, the commander of 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwöhr, Germany. As of Wednesday, Aguayo has not requested any leave.
“As of now,” Hibner said, “(Aguayo) stays with the unit until he files (for leave) … He’ll be on normal active-duty status, with the same standards as all the other soldiers in the unit.”
If given permission to go back to the States, Aguayo would be on active-duty status until his regularly accrued leave expires, at which time he would no longer receive any pay, Hibner said.