Hawaii-based Soldiers Take Issue with Watada - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii-based Soldiers Take Issue with Watada

Soldier Willie West Soldier Willie West
Soldier Corey Winesburg Soldier Corey Winesburg

by Kristine Uyeno 

(KHNL) - Oahu soldiers are reacting to a controversial decision made by a Hawaii man.

1st Lt. Ehren Watada is refusing to be deployed to Iraq later this month. Although his family, lawmakers and even strangers have showed him support, the soldiers we talked to are against his decision.

"I think it shows a lack of commitment to your soldiers," said Army soldier Jessica Gonzales.

They say if someone in their unit followed in Watada's footsteps, they would turn their backs on that person.

"I would cease to be a friend and I wouldn't have any association with him whatsoever," said soldier Corey Winesburg.

Watada, 28, is stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. He joined the Army in 2003 but he says his views on this war have since changed.

"I swore to do my job, to defend my country and he did the same and now he's changing his mind, I don't think that's right," said Army serviceman Corbin Giles.

"Not everyone agrees but they understand their mission is to answer the call of duty," said soldier Willie West.

But the soldiers believe Watada shouldn't be deployed now.

"Yah, I don't think they should make him go now because I would trust a little bit less the decisions he would make," said Gonzales.

They think Army officials should give him a proper punishment instead.

"Then he should spend time in jail," said Gonzales.

The Army has rejected Watada's request to resign. He's appealing that decision.

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