When Spc. Mark Wilkerson enlisted in the U.S. Army, he thought he knew who he was. “It’s like most 18-year-olds,” he explains. “You think you know who you are, but it changes.” [READ ARTICLE]

Video of Press Conference

September 7, 2006

[WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD IN CRAWFORD, TX 8.31.06]

… or read a complete transcript [HERE]

1984 by George Orwell

September 3, 2006

Saturday, Sept. 2nd

1984 by George Orwell.  It’s a book that I’ve been told by many people recently that I need to read.  Reading is something I never do unless there is nothing else to do – a backup plan, so to say.  Now I seem to find myself with plenty of free time.  And with no TV or computer in my room, reading’s the perfect antidote for a lazy evening.  And I am so glad I read 1984.  I think it should be required of every young person to read, and for a number of reasons:

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Mark’s Surrender

September 2, 2006

Yesterday, at approximately 1:30pm Mark turned himself in to his unit at Fort Hood, Texas. Prior to his surrender he gave a press conference at Camp Casey in Crawford, TX with Ann Wright (26 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and diplomat in the State Department for 15 years), Geoffrey Millard (former National Guard sergeant), Chaz Davis (former military police officer), Charlie Anderson (Petty Officer 2nd Class, U.S. Navy, assigned to the second marine division, second tank battalion 5th regimental combat team.), & Cindy Sheehan. You can read the transcript of his statement HERE and watch video from the press conference HERE.

Several of Mark’s supporters escorted Mark to Fort Hood, where he was met at the visitors center by media and Army Representative Major Joe Edstrom. After a brief statement he was escorted back on base. In a phone call received from Mark later than night he said that “I have been treated remarkably well.” After leaving his supports he said he was given a basic search, and ushered into the offices of his commanding officers who assured him that they wanted to treat him professionally and proceed in the proper way.

While Mark is restricted on-post, he can move freely around the base and have visitors.

While much of his original command has changed, he has encountered several of his old buddy’s. He said that several soldiers told him that “everyone has been supportive since the beginning, and knew that he tried to get out the right way before making the decision to go AWOL.”

For more on Mark’s story and yesterday’s events visit the following news links:

- National Public Radio: AWOL Iraq Veteran Returns to Base by Steve Inskeep

- Colorado Springs Gazette: Soldier from Springs surrenders after 20 months AWOL by Cary Vogrin

- Waco Tribune: AWOL U.S. soldier surrenders by Mike Anderson

- Democracy Now: “I Am Not Willing To Kill Or Be Killed For Something I Don’t Believe In” : AWOL Soldier Refuses to Return to Iraq

WATCH VIDEO STATEMENT SHOWN ON DEMOCRACY NOW!

My Last Night AWOL

August 31, 2006

I am currently in a hotel outside of Crawford, TX. Tomorrow I am going to be at Camp Casey, and I am going to give a press conference talking about the year and a half I have been AWOL, and talking about my turn-in, which I am also doing tomorrow. I am turning myself over in Fort Hood, to Fort Hood authorities, which is where I was stationed as a Military Policeman. I am turning myself in as a war resistor, a person who not only disagrees with the current administrations policies, but war in general. I am nervous, I am scared, but I am going in with my head held high, knowing that what I did was right. Sometimes doing the right thing is not a popular decision in the eyes of others. Sometimes you just need to do what you need to do to the right thing.It is 11 o’clock at night and I am very tired. Tomorrow is a long day and tomorrow is going to be a hard day, because this shaved short haired guy you see in front of you is not the guy I have been the last year and a half, and they can take my body, and they can do with it what they want, but my spirit is whole and it will be intact, and I will not let the military destroy me again and take away who I am like they did during the first 2 and a half years in the military. They are not going to win. I am going to win. What I am doing is right. I am joining a long history of war resistors, many of whom have died for their beliefs and I know tomorrow they will be looking down on me and war resistors who are alive hopefully will respect what I have to say and I hope that with as big a stage as I am going to have tomorrow that I can make people proud of my message and that I can say everything that I truly want to say.

- Mark -


WATCH VIDEO

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