Ehren Watada is a beautiful, beautiful (Did we mention beautiful?) Hawaii native who graduated magna cum laude from Hawaii Pacific University in 2003, and was subsequently commissioned by the Army’s Officer Candidate School–ultimately rising to the high military rank of First Lieutenant. His motivation to serve arose from a reaction to the September 11 attacks and his resulting “desire to protect our country.“
What happened in between? When Watada learned that his unit would be deploying to Iraq, he did some real homework on the conflict. Ultimately convinced that the war he was being asked to lead troops into was illegal, he attempted to resign his commission–this was refused. He offered to instead serve in the “unambigious war linked to the September 11 attacks” in Afghanistan. The Army–and then-President of the United States–did not budge.
And so a different war began as a result of Watada’s stand, with the Army proffering multiple charges against him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including that of “Conduct Unbecoming of Officer and Gentleman” (for denouncing President Bush and the war) and “Missing Movement” (for not deploying). For these charges he faced a court martial, as well as potential (dishonorable) Dismissal and years of prison time. But Watada did not back down.
On September 26, under the Obama administration, the Army agreed to allow his resignation.
So why is Watada such a babe? Well, look at him, for crying out loud. And then take into account that he’s a man willing to think rather than blindly follow, to stand up for what he feels is right even when the scariest and strongest machine is out to silence him.
Asked by TruthOut in ’06 how he felt facing the serious consequences for his controversial stand, Watada said plainly:
“When you are looking your children in the eye in the future, or when you are at the end of your life, you want to look back on your life and know that at a very important moment, when I had the opportunity to make the right decisions, I did so, even knowing there were negative consequences.“
He may no longer be an officer, but if you ask us, his conduct certainly is one of a gentleman. And, for that matter, a total babe.
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