How bad is Iraq?

A Marine home on leave has himself shot to avoid going back.

Published July 15, 2005 7:30AM (EDT)

From the Associated Press:

"A young Marine who feared returning to Iraq persuaded his cousin to shoot him in the leg, then told police he was hit by random gang gunfire, authorities said. The shooting early Saturday on Chicago's Northwest Side was meant to keep 19-year-old Moises Hernandez from going back to Iraq, prosecutors said."

Hernandez spent a month in Iraq, and "whatever he experienced changed him totally," his father told the AP. Hernandez is back with his unit at California's Camp Pendleton now. Illinois authorities are charging him with filing a false police report. The Marines are investigating.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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