Monday, July 20, 2009

Travis' Story Part 2...

So…it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my situation, and the reason is this:  for several weeks there’s been no situation.  I returned to my unit, turned in an application for discharge as a conscientious objector, and proceeded to wait for the C.O. application to work it’s way through the miles of red tape that is Army Bureaucracy.  I consulted my lawyer every now and then if need be but otherwise, I thought it was a wait-and-see game.

I was dead wrong.

There is a process for conscientious objectors to go through to get discharged from the military as such.  First, a Soldier’s Company Commander has to give his recommendation based on his opinion of the Soldier.  Then, you need to be interviewed by an Army Chaplain, (The Military’s spiritual advisors / liaisons),  and also by a Mental Health specialist.  Then, after you’ve been interviewed to your wit’s end, there has to be a hearing concerning the validity of your claim, and then they will make a decision whether or not to allow you to be discharged as an objector.

I was aware of all this going in.  And when the time came for my Chaplain’s interview, I was excited and ready.  Finally, a true man of God to talk to about my situation. A kindred spirit, who hopefully could give me insight into all that I’ve been going through.  This was not the case at all.

I was TOLD at 1pm that I had a 1pm meeting with the Chaplain.  That should have been a sign of things to come right there.  After racing frantically to his office, I was supposed to have an hour long interview, delving deep into my situation and reflecting on everything that was going on.  The purpose of the interview is for the Chaplain to see whether or not I’m the real deal.

What I got instead was a 20 minute cursory conversation, throughout which Chaplain (LTC) Ronald Leininger kept checking his watch and looking at his phone.  I did NOT get a full, in-depth interview.  Afterward, I received his letter to my Commander.  He said that in his opinion, he did not think that I was sincere.  In fact, he thought that I was being coached on what to say.  He also said that he thought my timing was ‘convenient.’  This coming from someone who barely listened to me, and only used my words OUT OF CONTEXT to negatively affect my claim.  This will severely affect the outcome of my case.

This is supposed to be a man of God.  I tell him that I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I have to take a human life, and he says that I’m not sincere?  Who does he serve?  God…or the Army?

Pray for me.  -Travis


  1. You are in our prayers and thoughts. Going through this process myself, I understand how difficult it is. Hang in there brother, it will be worth it!

  2. I will repost here what I posted in your other website.
    I believe that what your doing is a good thing but bad as well since there are consequences. As I tell my husband who is on his second tour in iraq. Think before you leap. Our soldiers don't think ahead or look into it more before signing that pathetic contract. It's saying here's my life do with it what you must. Kill me oh well I'll be a hero with a stone in the ground, as my family or spouses suffer with my being gone. I hate the military with how long I've been married to it. My husband only has a few months before he is done so I'm trying to not go insane for that time being. I will pray for you and wish you the best of luck, you are a human being with opinions and feelings, and it's good to see you stand for what you felt was right, and it is true, why the hell are you sending soldiers over there... to help them? to make YOU look good but the soldiers look like dogs even treated like one. I see no purpose or no way is this helping the US. Again, what ever you are put through I am sorry and I wish you the best of luck! maybe this will help pull the troops back and open Obama's eyes realizing, SOLDIERS need to be HOME. before we lose more people for no reason.

    Adding to it. That Bishop must've been an AS* but hey how can you ask for help from someone who's a bishop within THE ARMY. obviously he's getting paid to listen and state what ever he feels. Not the person you'd wanna talk to. I wish you the best of luck!! To others who are fighting, you do have millions of people who support you in what you are doing. We NEED our soldiers HOME!

  3. I couldn't imagine now more than ever what the life of a soldier is like. You guys are the definition of a hero. I honestly mean that!
    I honestly wish that everyone was like you. If everyone found it impossible to kill another human being than a need for the military would be almost obsolete.
    When you joined the army, didn't you realize what your job entailed? Even though you didn't receive the attention you desired from the chaplain, isn't it safe to say that not being able to kill another human being in the name of our country should have been your primary reason to not decide on the army as a career?
    I am not judging you, I am merely offering a perspective. Questioning the chaplains faith or devotion to his country is something much more complex than the honorable moral you have of not killing any human (despite the cause) which to the lamen citizen is reason enough to know that you are not cut out for the army?