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First woman GI resister

Published Nov 26, 2005 10:25 PM

At the gates of Ft. Benning, Ga., 22-year-old SPC Katherine Jashinski publicly announced on Nov. 17 her intention to refuse orders to complete weapons training in preparation for being sent to war.

Katherine Jashinski

Jashinski was accompanied by members of Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW), including Camilo Meijia, who was imprisoned for a year for his refusal to return to Iraq, and Michael Hoffman, one of the founding members of IVAW.

Father Roy Bourgeois, also a veteran but more widely known for his role in the annual mass protests at Ft. Benning demanding the closing of the School of the Americas, joined the news conference in urging support for Jashinski.

The Texas Army National Guard member signed on at age 19 to be a cook. She made an application for Conscientious Objector (CO) status eighteen months ago. With her request denied and receiving orders to go to Ft. Benning for weapons training, Jashinski decided to take her case to the public.

She appeared the next evening at a program, “Iraq Vets say No to War,” at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and vowed to the crowd that whatever the consequences, “I will not go!”

The next move is up to the military. She has not yet been charged with any infraction.