Pentagon figures suggest that 5500 troops are missing from action since the Iraq War started in May 2003. Last year the GI hotline received 30,000 calls. At the moment the hotline is receiving up to 3,000 calls a month. The volunteers say that by the time a soldier or new recruit calls the help line he or she has almost always decided to get out by one means or another.
The GI Hotline is at http://girights.objector.org/
Bill Galvin/ Spokesperson for G.I Hotline: “The ones that almost universally will go AWOL are the ones that have already been there and something that they witnessed or experienced or are a part of made them realize this is wrong I can’t do it and I won't do it.”
I do not know how these figures compare to another unpopular war, Vietnam, but they seem high. They really seem high given the fact that that other war was conducted at the point at which the baby boom reached draft age and the bulk of that army was made of draftees.
This war is not only being fought with a volunteer professional army but with career National Guard and Reserve Units.
Anyone who opposes the war has been from the beginning been visciously attacked by the administration and the neo conservative press. These AWOL people are truly against the war. In the search for "bad americans" that don't support the one true way it seems like this is a pretty good group and yet there is no loud, repetitive coverage about them. That's kind of strange.