Phil McDowell joined the U.S. Army in 2001, a month after the attack on the World Trade Center. He was a proud American who wanted to serve his country during a time of war.
Nine years after his army debut, his patriotism has not wavered, but his country considers him a deserter.
Mr. McDowell is one of few refugee claimants of his kind in Canada. Even though he had a change of heart about the war in Iraq during his four-year term, he completed his tour. Less than two months after retirement he was "stop-lossed," meaning his contract was renewed against his will.
"I got a letter about a month and a half later saying that my discharge wasn't supposed to happen," he said.
A quick glance at comments shows that many people still haven't heard about stop-loss. They find Phil's case strange and exceptional. If only it were.
Read it here. Respond at firstname.lastname@example.org.