Condon Speaks on Snyder's Behalf

Former Viet Nam era soldier shows our youth
Courage to Resist

A soldier formerly from Colorado Springs who went AWOL rather than return to Iraq was back underground Wednesday after a presumed deal with the Army to surrender and receive his discharge apparently went awry.

Neither his attorney, Jim Fennerty, nor Gerry Condon, his sponsor from Project Safe Haven, a Seattle- based sanctuary for AWOL American soldiers, would reveal the whereabouts of Kyle Snyder, 23.

Now, Condon said, Snyder wants any deal with the Army in writing before he will surrender.

"I came back in good faith," Snyder, who was with Condon, told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I put my trust in them one more time. Why should I put my trust in them again when I can just go back to Canada?"

Army officials did not return calls on Wednesday.

Fennerty said he thought he had brokered a deal for Snyder with Maj. Brian Patterson, the head of the Army's Personnel Control Facility at Fort Knox, Ky. Fennerty and Condon escorted Snyder from Vancouver, B.C., where he had lived for the last 18 months, to Fort Knox on Tuesday.

"We had an understanding with the Army officials at Fort Knox that he'd be in and out of their facility in three days with an other-than-honorable discharge with no further punishment," said Condon, a former Army medic who moved to Canada rather than accept orders to Vietnam.

Instead, said Condon, Army officials took Snyder to the bus station and told him to report to his unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and that there were "no guarantees" that he would not face a court-martial.

Fennerty said he had brokered a deal with Patterson for the return of another AWOL Iraq war veteran, Darrell Anderson, on Oct. 3. Anderson surrendered at Fort Knox and was held for three days, then released from the Army with an other-than-honorable discharge.

By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
November 2, 2006

Copyright 2006, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

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