Kyle Snyder to surrender

AWOL soldier to surrender at Fort Knox

By DYLAN T. LOVAN, Associated Press Writer

A U.S. Army soldier who fled to Canada rather than return to Iraq said Tuesday he was traveling to Fort Knox to surrender to military authorities.

Kyle snyder. a former combat engineer left the service in April 2005 while on leave avoid a second deployment to Iraq.

"I don't see a lot of positive things coming from this war," Snyder told reporters Tuesday morning at a Louisville church. "I see it as a counterproductive mission."

The 23-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo., had trained as an engineer with the 94th Corps of Engineers, but he said he was put on patrol when he got to Iraq in 2004, something he said he wasn't trained to do.

Snyder said he began to turn against the war when he saw an innocent Iraqi man seriously wounded by American gunfire. He believed the shooting was not properly investigated.

Attorney James Fennerty said a deal has been reached to keep Snyder from being court-martialed. Instead, he said, Snyder will receive an other-than-honorable discharge.

Fort Knox spokeswoman Gini Sinclair said she could not comment on Snyder's case, but she said deserters are typically brought back to the post and assigned to a special processing company and provided a lawyer. The Army would then open an investigation into the desertion.

"Each situation is evaluated individually," Sinclair said.

Snyder had fled to Canada while on leave from the Army and applied for refugee status. He said he worked as a welder and at a children's health clinic while there.

Snyder was nervous about returning and said he understood people may not agree with his decision to desert the Army.

"I don't know how the American people are going to take the things I say," he said Tuesday.

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Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.

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