A Marine reservist who said he failed to report for duty because he is a conscientious objector was found guilty of unauthorized absence but innocent of desertion Saturday.
Lance Cpl. Stephen Funk was sentenced to six months in prison and will receive a bad-conduct discharge, which results in his losing all military benefits, after he gets out of prison.
While in military custody, Funk’s rank will be dropped from lance corporal to private, the lowest rank in the Marines, and two-thirds of his pay will be docked for six months.
Funk said he became a conscientious objector after several months of being trained to kill. Funk, who attended anti-war rallies while absent and later announced he was gay, has said that the Marines were trying to make an example of him.
There were 27 other Marines who declared themselves conscientious objectors to the Iraq war. Like Funk, all were transferred to New Orleans for processing but none of the others were prosecuted because they still reported for duty on time, the Marines said.
Funk testified that he joined the Marines to earn money for college and that he did not think it likely he’d be activated for war.
First off, this kid deserves this for being an idiot. Conscientious objectors (CO)’s have existed for a long time, and CO’s have a long and distinguished history of service to their country in peace and in war. To say, as this coward did, that he was interested only in being in the USMC for benefits shows that he thinks benefits come without risks, and apparently that oaths come without obligations. The Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD, big chicken dinner) insures future problems for this twit.
This wasn’t conscientious objection, this was cowardice when his country needed him, someone who felt serving in uniform as he swore to do while his country was ridding the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq wan’t the right thing for him to do.
Definitions of CO status:
National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors
Google for the term CO, and you also get a lot of Blame America First and limp noodle sites, as with anything military. The above seem the most level-headed of the definitions.