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Iraq War Deserter, Mother of Four to Face Trial Today

An undated picture of U.S. Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera. Amnesty International Photo

An undated picture of U.S. Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera. Amnesty International Photo

A previous version of this story reported Pfc. Kimberly Rivera will be sentenced in Ft. Collins, Colo., today. In fact, Rivera’s court martial begins today. She has not been convicted in the matter. USNI News regrets the error. 

U.S. Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera will face desertion charges on Monday prior to an expected court martial in Ft. Carson, Colo., according to a report in The Gazette of Colorado Springs.

In 2007, the mother of four fled to Canada rather than face a deployment to Iraq
Rivera fought a long and public struggle with Canadian officials over granting her and her family amnesty after their U.S. departure. She lost her fight and was arrested last year at the U.S. border and held at Ft. Drum, N.Y.

Rivera’s flight and battle to stay in Canada made international headlines garnering the support of Amnesty International and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu.

Originally from Texas, Rivera served one deployment to Iraq in 2006 before she fled north. If convicted, Rivera could spend two to five years in prison.

  • I say give her the death penalty. The only thing worse than deserting your country is becoming a traitor, and some would argue they are one in the same. There is no excuse for cowardice like this. When you join the military you make a commitment, an oath to defend this country and its people. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices, then don’t try to game the system and hope your number never comes up, because someday it will. Unfortunately I’m sure she’ll get preferential treatment, and let off easy. They should make an example of her, so others don’t try the same. We have enough issues in this country, we don’t need to be showing weakness on a topic as important as this.

  • Daniel, I can’t tell if you’re trolling or you really believe that.

    1. Based on the evidence here, she’s a deserter, not a traitor.
    2. She deserted by refusing to go, not in the middle of a battle.
    3. I think just about anyone can come up with FAR worse things that that.

    Maybe you’re just a troll. Maybe you’re just prone to hyperbole. Either way, that’s a little ridiculous.

    As for making an example: she should be treated the same as any other deserter, no more harsh, no less.

    • Colin Campbell

      It doesn’t matter. She deserted for the express purpose of avoiding a combat deployment.

  • lou

    Joseph well by military law during an ongoing war desertion can be punisavke by death granted it has not been the sentence for a deserter since the time of the civil war i believe

    • The Last soldier to be executed for desertion in the US Military was Private Edward Donald “Eddie” Slovik on January 31st, 1945. Whereas other armies didn’t hesitate to shoot soldiers for desertion (the Russians had a machine gun battery in the rear manned by NKVD (the forerunner of the KGB) troops who would execute on the spot those who were guilty of deserting – or even appearing to desert), the US hadn’t used this punishment since the Civil War. The resulting public outcry and uproar were so great that US Military has to this day refused to use Capital Punishment as a penalty for desertion.

  • laura

    This soldier made a utube video warning back in January.
    think she sees too much corruption happening and is genuinely
    frightened about it all.

  • ruth01

    Maximum punishment possible. If the men suffer punishment, then she should too. I’m tired of women like this getting out of their military responsibilities simply because they have children. These women make the rest of us look like we can’t hack it in a “man’s” Military. I served for 20 years in the Army without “running away”. Max her out.

  • Colin Campbell

    Desertion in time of war for the purpose of avoiding combat duty. Lock her up and throw away the key.

  • Nugliscious

    Thank you laura. Some folks are too quick to judge but then again it comes down to being ignorant of current events.