The Blog

Decades On the Lam

Ernest Johnson, 55, who deserted the Marines during the Vietnam War, was arrested last week in Texas. If the war ain't over for Ernest Johnson, how is it over for millions of other veterans?
|
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Ernest Johnson, 55, who deserted the Marines during the Vietnam War, was arrested last week in Texas. In 1969, he left Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, after the My Lai massacre was revealed. "The war was a mistake from day one," he said. "I just decided I didn't want to be part of killing anybody. That's as plain as I can say it." If court-martialed and found guilty, Johnson, who suffers from prostate cancer, could be sentenced to up to three years in the brig and given a dishonorable discharge.

Hal Muskat, co-founder of his local Veterans For Peace, tells me that "The Marine Corps is susceptible to public pressure and press reports, and does not like to get phone calls, which is why I'm providing a couple of good ones. The MC Commandant's office is (703) 614-2501; the MC legal folks are at (703) 614-4250. They especially enjoy calls from Marine Corps veterans. I can sum this up thusly: 'If the fuckin' war ain't over for Ernest Johnson, how is it over for me or millions of other veterans?'"

Before You Go

Popular in the Community