IMAGE: Kyle Snyder
Brian Bohannon  /  AP file
Kyle Snyder, 23, a soldier who fled to Canada rather than return to Iraq, speaks with reporters Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., as his attorney James Fennerty looks on.
updated 10/31/2006 6:33:02 PM ET 2006-10-31T23:33:02

A soldier who fled to Canada rather than accept a second tour in Iraq turned himself over to military authorities at Fort Knox on Tuesday, his attorney said.

Kyle Snyder, a former combat engineer, left the U.S. in April 2005 while on leave. He said he worked as a welder and at a children’s health clinic in Canada.

Snyder’s lawyer, James Fennerty, said he had reached a deal with Army officials to allow Snyder to be processed back into uniform at Fort Knox, southwest of Louisville, and then be discharged. But he said Snyder told him Tuesday afternoon the Army wants to send him back to his original unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where commanders would determine his future.

“We wouldn’t have brought him back here if we knew this was going to happen,” Fennerty said.

A Fort Knox spokeswoman, Gini Sinclair, said she could not comment on Snyder’s case, but said deserters whose units are not fully deployed are returned to that unit.

Sinclair said deserters are typically brought back to the post and assigned to a special processing company and provided a lawyer. The Army would then open an investigation into the desertion.

“Each situation is evaluated individually,” Sinclair said.

Mike Alley, a Fort Leonard Wood spokesman, said that Snyder was scheduled to be processed there but that he had no details.

Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was trained as an engineer with the 94th Corps of Engineers, but said that when he was sent to Iraq in 2004 he was put on patrol, something he said he wasn’t trained to do. He said he began to turn against the war when he saw an innocent Iraqi man seriously wounded by American gunfire.

Fled to Canada
“I don’t see a lot of positive things coming from this war,” Snyder told reporters Tuesday morning at a Louisville church. “I see it as a counterproductive mission.”

Snyder had fled to Canada while on leave from the Army and applied for refugee status. He said he worked as a welder and at a children’s health clinic while there.

Snyder was nervous about returning and said he understood people may not agree with his decision to desert the Army.

“I don’t know how the American people are going to take the things I say,” he said Tuesday.

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