Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 7 News List

AWOL soldier surrenders to authorities

AP , LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

A soldier who fled to Canada rather than accept a second tour in Iraq turned himself over to military authorities at Fort Knox, Kentucky, his attorney said.

Kyle Snyder, a former combat engineer, left the US in April last year while on leave. He said he worked as a welder and at a children's health clinic in Canada.

Snyder's lawyer, James Fennerty, said on Tuesday he had reached a deal with Army officials to allow Snyder to be processed back into uniform at Fort Knox, southwest of Louisville, and then be discharged. But he said Snyder told him on Tuesday afternoon the Army wants to send him back to his original unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where commanders would determine his future.

"We wouldn't have brought him back here if we knew this was going to happen," Fennerty said.

At Fort Knox, Snyder refused to sign a form that would hasten his return to his unit, Fennerty said.

A Fort Knox spokeswoman, Gini Sinclair, said she could not comment on Snyder's case, but said deserters whose units are not fully deployed are returned to that unit.

Mike Alley, a Fort Leonard Wood spokesman, said that Snyder was scheduled to be processed there but that he had no details.

Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was trained as an engineer with the 94th Engineer Battalion, but said that when he was sent to Iraq in 2004 he was put on patrol, something he said he was not trained to do. He said he began to turn against the war when he saw an innocent Iraqi man seriously wounded by US gunfire.

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