- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2006

RADCLIFF, Ky. (AP) — An Army soldier who fled to Canada rather than redeploy to Iraq surrendered yesterday to military officials after asking for leniency.

Spc. Darrell Anderson, 24, said he deserted the Army last year because he could no longer fight in what he believes is an illegal war.

“I feel that by resisting, I made up for the things I did in Iraq,” Spc. Anderson said during a press briefing shortly before he turned himself in at nearby Fort Knox. “I feel I made up for the sins I committed in this war.” Spc. Anderson, of Lexington, returned to the United States from Canada on Saturday. He could face a charge of desertion.

Spc. Anderson’s Chicago-based attorney, Jim Fennerty, said Spc. Anderson will be interviewed by military investigators, given a uniform and assigned to a barracks while his case is processed. In three to five days, he will be given a discharge of other than honorable. At that point, he should be free from his military commitment and face no other charges, Mr. Fennerty said.

“He’s not a criminal,” Mr. Fennerty said.

Fort Knox public affairs officer Connie Schaffery has said officers had been in touch with Spc. Anderson, but she couldn’t say what would happen until after he surrendered.

Spc. Anderson joined the Army in January 2003 and went to Iraq a year later with the 1st Armored Division. He was wounded and received a Purple Heart in 2004.

He fled to Canada in early 2005 after receiving orders to return for a second tour of duty in Iraq, becoming a highly visible war critic and spokesman for Canadian peace groups.

Spc. Anderson’s mother, Anita Anderson, said the military failed in its responsibility to take care of her son after he returned from war.

“They treated his physical wounds, but they left his emotional wounds untreated,” she said through tears.

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