Army Sgt. Matthis Chiroux Refuses His Deployment to Iraq

Iraq Veteran Publicly Refuses to Deploy to Iraq in the halls of Congress

By Erin Thompson

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, a 24-year-old who spent nearly five years serving in the U.S. Army, publicly refused his orders to deploy to Iraq today. Chiroux made the statement in the rotunda of the Cannon Building of the House of Representatives, just minutes after 8 members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War testified about the realities of the U.S. occupation of Iraq to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Keywords: Analysis, Bronx, War & Peace, Resource Wars,

Chiroux, a student of political science in his first semester at Brooklyn College, received an honorable discharge last July after working as a photojournalist for the U.S. military in Japan, Europe, the Philippines and Afghanistan. In February Chiroux received notice that he must report to the U.S. Army in June to be deployed to Iraq.

Chiroux made the statement flanked by a dozen members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. “I would like to let Matthis and everyone here know that IVAW stands in support and solidarity with your decision, which I know is very difficult and very personal,” said IVAW Executive Director Kelly Dougherty. “IVAW’s strategy to end the occupation in Iraq is to encourage and organize resistance and opposition to this occupation from within the ranks and from the recent veterans.”


“Good afternoon, my name is Sergeant Matthis Chiroux and I served as an army photo journalist until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan and Europe and the Phillipines.

As an army journalist whose job it was to college and filter service members’ stories, I heard many a stomach-churning testimony of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq. For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes. Never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand. In February, I received a letter from the Army, ordering my return to active duty, with the purpose of mobilization in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare the military and my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq.

This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal, and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes. Furthermore, deployment and support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being. But in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army, if they so wish to pursue them.

I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation.”

Erin Thompson


May 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for taking such a courageous and principled stand against this illegal War, Sgt. Matthis-Chiroux.Besides being a model of courage, I think you could have a great career in the movies. You are VERY “easy-on-the-eyes”, Sarge.

    Comment by Joseph Hill | June 17, 2008 | Reply

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