(FORT CARSON, Colo.) — Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera, the first woman to desert the war in Iraq, has been sentenced to 10 months in military prison while receiving a bad-conduct discharge this week.
During her trial at Fort Carson, Colo., Rivera, a married mother of four with another child on the way, told the court that she had no intention of returning to Iraq in 2007 following a two-week leave.
Instead, she and her family moved to Canada where they lived until the U.S. ordered her deported to face trial for desertion. Rather than go through a lengthy legal proceeding, Rivera turned herself into authorities in 2012.
According to Rivera, she became a conscientious objector following her experience as a guard at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in Baghdad in which she wrote in a blog that she saw “wounded, injured and killed civilians on a daily basis.”
Prosecutors argued that in her position, Rivera would not have witnessed what she had alleged to have seen.
The soldier also gave another reason for not returning to Iraq: her husband threatened to leave her and take their kids with him.
When it came to light that Rivera was facing charges in the U.S., her case became a cause célèbre, not just in Canada but all over the world, with even Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu protesting the deportation.
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