From the local NBC station:
Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes, 23, arrived on time at the 32nd Street Pier, but instead of wearing a uniform, he had donned a shirt that said Like Cabinet Member, I Resign, which is what he did on Monday.
"I'd rather do a year in a prison in the military than do six months of dirty work for a war I don't believe in -- and not many people believe in -- and get Marines in harm's way," Paredes told NBC 7/39. "It's sad to me that some people don't understand what I'm doing, don’t understand that this fight takes a lot more courage and that I'm fighting for the very people that they're putting in harm's way."
Paredes said he has opposed the war since its inception. Until recently, the weapons-control technician said he did not feel he had a direct role in the war. Two weeks ago, however, he said he was involuntarily transferred to the USS Bonhomme Richard, which ferries Marines to Iraq.
"I don't want to be a part of a ship that's taking 3,000 Marines over there, knowing a hundred or more of them won't come back," he said. "I can't sleep at night knowing that's what I do for a living."
Paredes of the New York City borough of the Bronx said he joined the Navy in 2000 and has 20 months left on his six-year enlistment. He said he was stationed previously in Japan.
He said he was young and naive when he joined the Navy and "never imagined, in a million years, we would go to war with somebody who had done nothing to us."
Don't be fooled here. It's not concern for those 3,000 Marines. Pablo is looking out for Number One here. As a technician in the weapons-control field, he's responsible for weapons systems that defend the ship, since those big amphibs don't carry much in the way of offensive weapons--beyond the Marines, that is. If he really gave a rat's butt about those Marines, he'd be onboard tonight, maintaining his gear and doing everything he could to make sure that they get where they are going safely. (I am assuming that this guy is a Fire Controlman, although I suppose it could be one of the other weapons rates, like Gunner's Mate or Sonar Technician. Weapons Technician was disestablished five years before this fellow joined. Doesn't really matter which rate, though, really.)
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Paredes said he discussed his plans with his wife of two years in New York, "and she supports my decision 1,000 percent," even though he might get a dishonorable discharge and lose pay and benefits.
He said he thought of smoking marijuana or breaking his leg with a heavy metal rod to try to get a discharge but decided instead to go public with his protest. He said he hopes doing so might inspire other sailors, soldiers and Marines to refuse to take part in the war.
"I know other people are feeling the same way I am, and I'm hoping more people will stand up," he said. "They can't throw us all in jail."
Why, yes, Pablo, yes, we can throw all of you in jail. Rather, we can stick you in the brig with all of the other folks who didn't quite understand what it means to Obey the orders of the President and the orders of the officers appointed over me. But the longer we hold onto your sorry ass, the longer we have to pay you a housing allowance so that your wife has a roof over her head, and the longer we have to pay for her medical benefits, and the longer you count against the Navy's total manpower limit.
And one more clip from KGTV:
"I just want people to see how people feel about this. It's not just a few crazy liberals talking to the media to make money. I'm not making any money, I'm going to jail for a year for this. I want to do because I feel that strongly about it and I know a lot of people feel this way," Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes told 10News.
So instead, it's a crazy sailor...except that he's not crazy. And he's probably already had lawyers calling him offering to represent him for free.
Let me sum up my feelings in one statement: The man has no honor.
Right up until the Navy needed him on a ship, he had a nice job in Japan, drawing a large chunk of extra pay through the Overseas Cost of Living Allowance, his wife had all of her medical needs met, and his principles just weren't that important. Either that, or he's an idiot who does not understand that every sailor in the Navy is working to support the combat operations, whether directly or not.
Now that he's deploying on a ship that he didn't want to go to, (to which I say, WAH!) he conveniently finds his beliefs again. An honorable person having strong feelings and principles would have done something much sooner.
Years ago, two very large Marines would probably have carried him aboard and into the brig...but times have changed.
As I said: The man has no honor. The sooner we toss his sorry ass out of my Navy, the better.