Fort Carson soldier charged with desertion for fleeing Iraq war to face court martial

First woman soldier to flee U.S. military service

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Fort Carson soldier charged with desertion for fleeing to Canada to avoid the Iraq war will face a court martial Monday.

The Gazette reports Pfc. Kimberly Rivera faces up to five years in prison and a dishonorable discharge if convicted. Rivera is the first woman soldier to flee to Canada to avoid the Iraq war.

Rivera, who was assigned to Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, served in Iraq in 2006. She said she became disillusioned with the mission and, while on a two-week leave in the U.S. in February 2007, she crossed the border into Canada after she was ordered to serve another tour there.

Rivera applied for permanent residency, but Canadian immigration officials ordered the mother of four to leave the country or face deportation. She was arrested at the U.S. border last year.