After almost seven years in the navy, I was discharged as a conscientious objector in February 2011. There’s no one thing I can point out as being the the last straw that made me become a pacifist. Instead, it was a very gradual process. Jesus kept pulling at my heart, and ultimately I had to do what he asked. I applied twice for discharge, was denied twice, and had to go to federal court before my discharge was granted. The official record for my case is over 1000 pages. I’m posting some of that here that others might find helpful.
I’m posting the stuff here mostly so that anyone else going through the process has something to reference. I remember when I went through the process I wished I had more stuff to help guide me. If that’s why you’re reading this, you should call the GI Rights hotline and the Center on Conscience and War right now. I was skeptical at first. I thought I didn’t need help from other people, but I was wrong. After my first application was denied, I called these organizations and they hooked me up with the ACLU to get great legal representation. Also, make sure you find a good support group to help you out. I spent a year at St Francis House, a pacifist community, while all this was going on. The whole thing was a pretty miserable experience, and I wouldn’t have made it without all these people.