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Soldier Arranges to be Shot to Avoid Redeployment to Iraq

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The San Bernardino County Sun reports a soldier trying to avoid redeployment to Iraq had a friend shoot him in the leg and then claimed he'd been wounded in a hold-up. 20 year old Army Pfc. Mathew John Myers of San Bernardino County limped into a minimart about 9:30pm Sunday and reported he had been walking on a golf course when a gunman stole his wallet and miltiary identification and shot him in the right thigh.

Sherriffs Deputies became suspicious of the story because they could not find a blood trail or any shell casings and Myers could not describe the attacker.

"We were out looking for the suspect, and things just weren't adding up," sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Hill told the paper. "It was determined that Matthew Myers and his friend, Daniel Dotterrer, came up with this plan to have his friend shoot him so (Myers) wouldn't have to return to Iraq for another tour."

Myers is at least the second soldier to shoot himself to avoid returning to Iraq.

20 year old New York city native Jonathan Aponte, was sentenced in September to one year in jail for paying someone $500 to shoot him in the knee to avoid redeployment. His family claims he was suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder.

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The Defense Department reports that 5,361 active-duty service members deserted the US Armed Forces last year; nearly 37,000 since October 2001.

How well do you know your facts about U.S. veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan? Take the War Comes Home "Did You Know?" Quiz and find out!

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Pacifica radio network reporter Aaron Glantz is author of the new book "How America Lost Iraq" (Tarcher/Penguin). More information at www.warcomeshome.org

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