Viewer Feedback About Lt. Ehren Watada

The following is a sample of comments received by KHNL News 8 regarding the controversy surrounding Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada:

I support Lt. Watada in his protest of this illegal war. I give him credit for standing up for his beliefs, even if it means prison time. -


Watada is a disgrace to his fellow soldiers. He should be confined for 20 years. -


(Did you know the flag hanging behind Watada is backwards? Does that have a meaning?) This boy knew what he was getting into when he signed. He is in violation of a legal and binding agreement. He should definitely do time, or the wrong message would be sent out to all who enlist. He also doesn't act like an American with these actions. Isn't freedom from tyranny and terrorism worth fighting for? If he doesn't agree, then why did he enlist? -


He is supposed to be an Officer, a Leader. No one wants to go to war but the last time I checked this was a volunteer army. He swore an oath, just like every other soldier. He should be treated no differently and punished accordingly. -


Our country has depended on a volunteer military since the draft was abolished during the 1970s. Lt Watada volunteered to join the army, and, one assumes, as an intelligent and informed recruit knew the possibility existed that he might one day be called upon to go to combat. His reneging on his commitment now is neither right, nor patriotic, nor manly. -


This is a volunteer armed forces and you are asked if you are a conscientious objector when you go through the process to enter in. There is always the chance of going somewhere you don't want to even in peace time but when you raise your hand and swear in to the military you don't have the right to say no as long as it is a lawful order, remember they are not called requests they are called orders. I think he should also have to repay the cost the government has incurred for his housing, education, insurance and etc.We should not have to pay the bill because he changed his mind. The wife of an airman proudly serving his country! -


He freely enlisted. Took advantage of the benefits to become a commissioned lieutenant. Now he objects. He enlisted after 9-11 so he knew what he was getting into. I have had several family members go to Iraq. Two even volunteered to return. My husband , son, daughter and brothers have all served in the military and served as they took an oath to do. Why is it only when he was assigned to go did he object. Would he not have said anything if he were to remain stateside and reap the benefits of being an officer. To let him get away without consequences is a slap in the face to the many men and women who have sacrificed for this country and our freedom. God bless our troops. Thank you. - Roberta

My husband had to go to Iraq for a year and had to leave us behind and a child that I was still carrying when he left. Even though he did not agree with this war he still agreed that Saddam needed to be out and it was his duty as a soldier to at least protect us from people like Saddam. - Marian

He enlisted. He was not drafted. He accepted his military oath and has been taking money from the tax payers to do his job. No where in the oath does it say "only if I agree". He should go straight to jail. Shame on his father publicly supporting his son. Very bad form for a person in his position. What an embarassment this is to the people of this fine state, many of which have served this country and the people. - Jason

What did Watada expect when he enlisted as an officer in an infantry unit after the war had started? For him to use a "change of mind" as a defense shows just what a coward he is. He is a disgrace to the uniform and a disgrace to the memory of Japanese-Americans who have fought for this country! - Shawn

What a coward and a disgrace to our country. Shame on him. He voluntarily agreed to fight with his life to protect America and he knew it when he signed-up. - Frances

When the fight against terrorists comes to our shores will Watada hide in a closet? He knew the score when he put on the uniform and collected his wages. Put him away so a real soldier can step up to the plate in his place. - Peggy

Absolutely shameful! When he signed up did he think they would allow him to pick and choose what battles he wanted to fight? - Amber

As an officer Lieutenant Watada should lead by example, not shirk his duty by cowardice....if he doesn't believe in the war; he should not have chosen the military for a career....that's what the military does, is fight wars....he deserves the maximum prison sentence - Larry

Mr. Watada is a traitor to this country and a disgrace to the Japanese-American community. He should be given the full punishment according to the law. He is not a hero as some people are making him out to be. - Richard

I think the Army is going overboard to prove the validity of a war based on lies. - Marti

He took an oath of loyalty. We are in a time of war. He had no problem receiving his officers pay until now. He should consider himself lucky to receive jail time. He disgraced our great military. - Gerald

Lt. Watada joined after 9/11 and knew our country was at war. He is a pathetic man, who doses not deserve to wear the U.S. Army uniform. Soldiers volunteer to join the military, enlisted and officer alike. Hopefully Lt. Watada faces the full measure of the UCMJ for his refusal to deploy to Iraq. I am thankful the soldiers I served with in Iraq were not cowards like Lt. Watada. - Taylor

I am so ashamed of this local boy..he should be given the worse punishment and a dishonorable discharge, he can never be trusted inany postion..our troopers live and die for us so we the Hawaiian Island people can live in peace, "We are the people of the islands". What is he thinking that boy!!! No mo shame! A hui hou..malama pono. - Lynn

Lt. Watada's father said it was OK, because he was "doing what is right". I'll bet every terrorist involved on Sept. 11th, thought he was "Doing what is right". In our society what the terrorist did was wrong, and so is Lt. Watada. May he spend many, many years in prison. - Daryl

What was he thinking when he signed up. Free money and a education. As a leader of men, what example is he setting for his men. I could see if he was a sole suriving son. But that has to be documented when he signs up. - Louis

Lt. Watada should be congratulated for standing up for his principles. President Bush has killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein and should be charged with invading another country. - Judith

Although I disagree with Lt Watada's decision I think he has a right to speak and act upon his beliefs.- Thomas

I am very supportive of Lt. Watada and I encourage other military personnel to educate themselves about the legalities of the war and act accordingly. Lt. Watada has an oathe to the Constitution as did the President. Bush has acted irresponsibily and illegally placing our young people in the military in an illegal/immoral situation. Bush should be on trial. The media has done a very poor job in presenting the truth to the American people. Bravo Lt. Watada..a man of integrity and honor! These polls mean nothing..this is a legal question. An clearly Lt. Watada is doing his duty in regards to a response to an illegal order. - Pat

He is not honoring the oath he took to become a US military officer. He knew he might have to fight someday. He says he is against the war, I bet he is just too chicken to go and fight. Bet he never turns down his monthly check. - Lynn

As having a brother-in-law fighting for US right now in Iraq. It's really sad to have Watada as a lieutenant. To me he's just Watada not lieutenant. Not every man and women want to be a war but they know what the job was when they signed up. If one should have a choice not to go to war then they all should. - Rosie

He should have considered the possibility of going to combat before enlisting into the Army. Whatever his beliefs is for not going to Iraq, the fact is he did get all of the benefits that he expected to get by enlisting into the Army, so when it is time to give back for all that he has gotten, he gets cold feet and refuses to deploy. It's like how a contractor who is hired by a homeowner to do a job, gets paid for the work before it is finished, then decides not do the work and runs with the money paid. It's fraud and theft. He signed the contract when he enlisted and should be held to it, or pay a price for defrauding the govenment. - Kevin

I'm behind Lt. Ehren Watada 100%!I think it's wonderful that he's standing up for his rights!! - Nicole

He knew when enlisting back in 2003 what was going on. He turned his back on his fellow troops, his country, his family, and the veterans of the past wars that fought bravely for our freedom today. He should get a maximum for each of the charges he's facing at his court-martial. - Richard

I applaud Lt. Watada for standing up for what he believes. The US Army backed him against a wall. He is a real hero in my eyes. - Keoki

Watada is a discrace to Hawaii and his nation. When you join the military you join to serve your country and the officers appointed over you. You do not get to "pick your war" like Lt. Watada wants to do. What kind of example does this set for his men? Do they only follow orders when have to? - Jeremy

Mr. Watada not only brings shame to his family's name but also Hawaii. When he decided (voluntarily to join the military and
receive his monthly incomes/benefits), why didn't he raise his objection to participate in war(s)? Whatever his reason for refusing to go to war zone is nothing more than just lame excuses. If he truly doesn't believe in this administration's policy, then excercise his right to vote out this president and vote in someone else that may best represent his ideology. Until then, he needs to stand up like a man (which obviously his character proves otherwise) and answer the call of duty. - Alan

KHNL News 8 welcomes your comments on this story.