Female war resister faces court-martial
FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) -- A court-martial got under way Monday for the first female U.S. Army soldier to flee to Canada to avoid a second tour of duty in the Iraq war.
Army Pfc. Kimberly Rivera is charged with desertion and could face up to five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if convicted, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
Rivera, 30, was a wheeled-vehicle driver in Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and served in Iraq in 2006. She has said that, while there, she became disillusioned with the U.S. mission in Iraq.
During a two-week leave in the U.S. in 2007, Rivera crossed the Canadian border after she was ordered to serve another tour in Iraq. She applied for refugee status but was denied.
Rivera then applied for permanent residency, but Canadian immigration officials rejected that application, too. Authorities also rejected her requests to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.