Aguayo was released on April 18th, and he will speak in Tacoma at Kings' Books on Thursday evening, July 12, at 7:30 pm. The event is sponsored by People for Peace Justice & Healing, and the South Sound Peace & Justice Center.
In a recent interview Aguayo said "Before I left for Iraq I searched deep within me, I concluded that if I go over there I can't take a life. I ultimately say I'll go, but I'm definitely a conscientious objector. I'm not willing to cross that line, no matter what I can't take a life." Based on these sentiments, Agustin Aguayo filed for Conscientious Objector status after he enlisted, but was deployed to Iraq for a year while his application was processed. He served as a combat medic with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment in Tikrit, Iraq-all the while refusing to load his weapon though he was assigned combat patrol duties. His medical platoon leader later testified that "Everything we asked Aguayo to do besides carry a weapon he did without question and did it well." Aguayo notes, "My experiences in Iraq made my convictions stronger...In the end I felt that I had to listen to my conscience...I sincerely believe that I am a conscientious objector. My life reflects it. It's what I've become at the very core of myself."
Despite initial favorable reviews of his application by Army interviewers, his application for CO status was later denied. In November 2005, Agustín filed an appeal in federal court challenging that denial. While his appeal was pending, he was then ordered to redeploy to Iraq in September 2006. He refused to go. He was subsequently court martialed and sentenced to eight months in military prison. He was released on April 18th and is now sharing his story of resistance with others.
Please join us for at Kings' Books on Thursday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. for an evening with Mr. Aguayo.
For further information, contact Brianna Copley at 253-383-3056, ext. 125.
Coordinator, South Sound Peace and Justice Center
1224 South I Street
Tacoma, WA 98405