A 26-year-old Army specialist stationed with the 58th Combat Engineer Company in Ft. Irwin is fighting to be released from the Army as a conscientious objector rather than be involuntarily deployed to Iraq.
Calvin Lee, a devout Buddhist-Taoist, joined the Army in 2004 after a zealous recruiter approached him at a civilian job fair in South San Francisco. Though he had learned English from brief stays in America and in school in Southeast Asia, he was unfamiliar with the tactics of military recruiters. When the recruiter told him his job would be repairing trucks and that he would never have to leave Ft. Irwin or go to war, Lee believed him and signed the three year contract.
While serving, Lee eventually realized the depth of the recruiter's deception. Unaware of his rights, he continued working, turning down promotions in rank and pay as he felt his faith would require. Months before he was to be released from the Army, Lee was informed that his service contract was being involuntarily extended under the military's 'stop loss' policy and that his unit would be deployed to Iraq. Lee then applied for conscientious objector status.