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October 18, 2017     The Julian News
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October 18, 2017
 

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October 18, 2017 The Julian News 7 by Bic Mountblanc In a few short days the fate of an American deserter will be determined at his court martial. Bowe Bergdahl isn't the first in American history guilty of the crime and as long as we fight wars he probably will not be the last. In the 18th and 19th centuries, punishment for desertion was swift and severe. The last time an American soldier was executed for this crime was during WWlI. This is the story. Twelve soldiers from the 109th regiment were armed with M-1 rifles and eleven rounds and one blank. They stood in formation in a courtyard surrounded by high brick walls in Sainte-Marie-aux- Mines, France. Before them was a thick post. It was January 31, 1945. Fighting in the freezing temperatures in the Ardennes and the Hurtgen Forest was fierce. Casualties were horrific. American soldiers were frightened but fought with tenacity of animals that they were reduced to. The convicted soldier, Eddie Slovik would not fight. He was court martialed and found guilty of desertion. He was led into the courtyard. His uniform had been stripped of any insignia or sign of rank. He was strapped to the post across his chest, under his arms with a webbed belt. The belt was fixed to a spike at the back of the post to keep the convicted soldier from slumping. He was strapped around the knees and ankles. There was little doubt about the accused cowardice. When he landed in France in August 1944 his unit came under artillery attack and took cover in a small town. All the men were scared but when the time came tO move, they moved. Slovik did not. He decided "right then and there that he was not fit for combat." He and a companion wandered until being picked up by Canadian Military Police unit and stayed with them for the next month and a half. With the massive troop movements across France, things were hectic and confusing. A lot of troops were separated from their commands. But a letter to the company commander paved the way for Slovik to rejoin the 109th without charges or punishment for either of the two AWOLs, Slovik was not a stranger to crime and the criminal justice system. He served numerous sentences since his first incarceration at twelve. He was not considered fit for the draft initially because of his criminal record but as the war progressed he was eventually reclassified and drafted. After rejoining the 109th, a part of the 28th Infantry Division, he approached his company commander and requested a position in the rear rather than a front line position because he was "too scared". He told his commander, Captain Grotte that if he were assigned to the front he would run and asked if that would constitute desertion. Grotte responded that it would and assigned Slovik to a front line rifle unit disregarding his request. Slovik ran. He reached the rear several miles behind the lines and presented a note to a cook. "1, Pvt. Eddie D. Slovik, 36896415, e,a robot that looks like me! I'd like a robot that bakes desserts!- " p Annimills LLC 2017 0.40 % a v www.readingclubfun.co ..... re I D mDton' " I I I I I / J o ]1 /[ \\ of doing the same / k,.ll II El chores over and over. / homework.V_ q l i " " 6 b/ e I wanta;..Robot...sol| 4 I] I I I _1 The kind of robot, l really want is only found in -: Are you ready for -- --- r lwas science fiction stories and movies. Most robots robots? A lot of the -- __ built.by.robots compute that exist today are used in industry to make cars or robots we see on r other items. Some are used to paint or pack items. "IV or in movies are 8 Robots in movies often look like humans, while real-life factory robots usually have only one big arm to do the work they are built to do. Robots have computers for "brains." People can program them with a set of directions to "teach" them a job. If something goes wrong, played by human actors. Remember C-3PO and R2-D2 from the movie Star Wars? Many are computer generated robots can't teach themselves how to fix it - yet! robots. But, more and ,. --' more "real" robots - that Can You Figure it Out? Check out my robot! Can you fill in the number where he has: 1. cameras for eyes 2. feet for moving from place to place 3. computer "brain" area; panel for repairs 4. bendable, flexible arms to reach and stretch 5. microphones for ears to pick up sound 6. a loudspeaker for "talking" can help humans directly - are being built and put to use. Have you heard about NASA's Mars Exploration Program? Robots, like this one, are sent to Mars. They help scientists study the planet by sending photos and data from Mars to Earth. IIII II cleaning room! / Fill in this puzzle to show how much you know about robots: 1. working, moving or acting by itself 2. machine that automatically does a job 3. set of directions put into the computer to tell the robot what to do 4. business, work that produces things we use, such as cars and bicycles 5. field of work designing, building robots 6. the "brain" of the robot 7. able to move from place to place 8. fun stories that show how a real or imagined scientific thing such as a robot might change our way of life Beep!. .. Identify These Robots Here are some favorite and famous robots from cartoons, toys and real life! Can you match each one to its definition? Is There A Robot in Your House? ILB = Bright Blue K = Black-' D = Dark Blue G = Dark Gray W = WhiteI G = Light Gray Y = Yellw I A simple "robot" is an automatic machine that will complete an easy task, such as a microwave oven and dishwasher. Follow the color key to see a smart "robot" that people use to vacuum: 1. Baymax (Big Hero Six) A. robot dog that can play fetch and recognize you, 2. Mars "Curiosity" rover B. colorful robots that you can build and program yourself 3, Asimo (Honda) C. medical robot in "San Fransokyo" who wears a suit of armor to save the 4. Chip (by WowWee) D. car-sized robot that helps NASA explore space and complete its science missions 5. Mindstorms (by Lego) E. robots from the planet Cybertron that can take the shape of cars or airplanes 6. Transformers F. real-life walking and talking robot, can climb stairs or serve you drinks Robot Fire-Fighting Competition! At this competition the 2 robots must find the house with the candle flame inside it and put out the flame. To get there, each robot must find its way "in and out" of the other 4 rooms first. Can you help each robot find its way through the maze? .,. Solution Page 12 p,. @ /) D O confess to the desertion of the United States Army".... "1 told my commanding officer my story. I said that if I had to go out there again rd run away. He said there was nothing he could do for me so I ran away again and rll run away again if I have to go out there." Slovik was taken into custody by an MP and brought to the cook's company commander who read the note and told Slovik to destroy it. He refused, was placed under arrest and he was brought to Lieutenant Colonel Henbest who read the note and again offered SIov, ik the opportunity to destroy it. He refused. Henbest had him write on the other side of the note that he understood all the implication of his actions and the note would be used in a court martial against him. Slovik wrote as he was told and was taken to the stockade. Maybe Slovik was playing the odds. During periods of intense battle, in all wars, desertion numbers increase and it was no different during WWII and especially at that specific time with fierce fighting about to begin in the Ardennes. All soldiers knew that the ultimate penalty for desertion was execution. Murder and rape were considered capital offenses as well during that time and all the executions that had taken place in the European Theater up till then were for that reason. The fact of the matter is that there were over 21,000 cases of desertion during WWII and only 49 instances of the death sentence imposed. Of those only one was carried out. Slovik, was most likely counting on time in the stockade and a dishonorable discharge as his fate for the crime. The desertion rates were increasing though as the Bulge raged and some historians feel that Slovik may have been an easy scapegoat and example for the issue at hand. SIovik's court martial was on November 11th 1944. He was found guilty and sentenced to the firing squad. His sentence was approved by the division commander Major General Cota. He said "Given the situation...I thought it was my duty to this country to approve that sentence. If I hadn't approved it...I don't know how I could have gone up to the line and looked a good soldier in the face. SIovick appealed to General Dwight Eisenhower and in all capital offenses he had the final say. He approved the sentence on December 23rd. As he was being led to the firing squad some of SIovik's last words were "They're not shooting me for deserting the United States Army, thousands of guys have done that. They just need to make an example out of somebody and I'm it because I'm an ex-con. I used to steal things continued on page 12 1. Who had more career victories as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers: Jack Morris or Justin Verlander? 2. Between 1972-79, an Angels pitchers led the A.L in strikeouts each season. Nolan Ryan did it seven of the eight seasons. Who did it the other one? 3. Who was the youngest coach to lead a football team to the college Division I national championship? 4. Name the first European- born player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. 5. When was the last time the Washington Capitals reached the NHL's Eastern Conference finals? 6. Who holds the record for the fastest qualifying lap at the Indianapolis 500? 7. Earlier in 2017, in three different events, Rafael Nadal won a tennis tournament for the 10th time. One was the French Open. Name either of the other tWO. Answers on page 12