Colorado Springs Independent: Trading uniforms— Two Fort Carson desertion trials shed light on the route from post to prison – by J. Adrian Stanley

I got a real kick of how Adrian (btw, despite the spelling of her name,she’s a woman) described me in this story…

James M. Branum has a Southern drawl that stretches words like warm taffy. You might suspect this big guy with a big mustache of having a worldview shaped by sweet potato pies, American flags and Bible study.

You’d be at least partially right.Branum was raised a conservative Christian and an unquestioning patriot. But about five years ago, he began examining his long-held beliefs.”I had been challenged by a Catholic at that point about being pro-life, and this person said, ‘How can you call yourself pro-life if you support the war and support the death penalty?'” Branum says.

Branum began gravitating toward passivism, and rejecting the idea that your own country is superior. Now, Branum is a Mennonite minister in Oklahoma. He’s also an attorney, representing soldiers who want out of the military — conscientious objectors, and those with health problems, family hardship or harassment claims. Every case is different….

(One tiny correction, I started asking the questions regarding the morality of war about 8-9 years ago. This journey of questioning reached a bit of a climax 5 years ago when I joined the Mennonite church.)

From here, Adrian tells about the Tony Anderson trial. She does a great job (especially with the accompanying picture) of showing Tony’s youth and the vulnerable honesty he let the court see when he gave his statement.

On the Daniel Sandate case, she lays out the basic story quite well, but it the final sentence that really clicks. It was and still is the big question looming before Daniel Sandate an those who care about him. And I won’t ruin the punch for you, so go read the article.

Also, just a reminder that I am still raising money to help pay for the costs of defending Daniel Sandate. I am still $500 short of what I need to pay my local co-counsel (Bill Durland) and to cover my own expenses and time. Please consider giving.