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Ex-soldier returns medal in protest

A former soldier has said he is giving back his military medal in a "symbolic protest" at Britain's continuing involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

Joe Glenton, who previously served with the Royal Logistic Corps, was jailed for nine months after refusing to return to Afghanistan for a second tour of duty.

He spent four months at a military corrective training centre in Colchester, after going absent without leave.

Speaking at a press conference in Westminster before handing over his veterans badge to 10 Downing Street, the former Lance Corporal said: "I got home from my experience when I was released from prison and looked back and thought, five years in the army, what an extremely dubious war.

"I've been in exile and prison for raising my views and I looked at it and thought rather than having it gather dust here, I'll take it and give it back to them. It will be symbolic, a symbolic protest. I think it is a very powerful gesture."

Mr Glenton, who now campaigns against war, served one tour of duty in Afghanistan, but deserted from the Army in 2007, when he was ordered to return.

He went to Asia and Australia before flying back in 2009, after more than two years away, to face proceedings.

Mr Glenton, 28, from York, who is now studying international relations and peace at Leeds Metropolitan University added: "I am going to hand it back, I don't want it, I'm not proud of it. My badge of honour is four months in prison, that's my position."

Detailing his opposition to the war he said: "I've developed my own views and looked at the facts and I didn't agree with it any more. I joined the army for the reason a lot of people do, there was no moral driver. You join because if you are a working class kid you want a job. That's the bottom line, hunger is a recruiting sergeant."

Mr Glenton was joined by relatives of other soldiers, who are members of the Military Families Against The War campaign group.


From Belfast Telegraph