Soldier turned war protester launches campaign in Oklahoma City

Monday, August 8th 2005, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Iraq war veteran turned protester brought his anti-war campaign to Oklahoma City today, about 90 miles from where he was jailed in a military prison for desertion.

Camilo Mejia was released last February from the Fort Sill Correctional Facility near Lawton, where he served a one-year sentence on a desertion charge.

The charge stemmed from his refusal in 2003 to return to his Florida National Guard unit. At the time, he was a staff sergeant in the infantry who was on a two-week furlough after serving for more than five months in Iraq near the Sunni Triangle.

Mejia said today he always had misgivings about the war and they deepened after authorities could not find weapons of mass destruction.

He said he now considers the war -- quote -- "a crime against humanity" and that he could not live with himself if he had returned to combat.