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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Recruiter-turned-peacenik hits nerve in N.C. - USA Today Report

Recruiter-turned-peacenik hits nerve in N.C. - USA Today Report

Excerpt - WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — If you were young and tough and wanted a challenge, Jimmy Massey was the man to see. He was gung ho. He was Semper Fi. He was the strutting, cussing, tobacco-chewing Marine recruiter.

The staff sergeant won scores of recruits in this and other patriotic mountain towns by talking courage, honor, commitment. Then, following his own adage — "you gotta walk the walk" — he went to Iraq.

That was two years ago, before Massey left the Marines, returned to Waynesville, and began saying things about the war that make people wonder whether they really knew him in the first place. These days Massey carries a sign around town that says he killed Iraqi civilians. He confesses to having enticed some recruits with false promises, and encouraged others to lie on applications. He has gone to Canada to testify for an Army deserter seeking asylum, and he has spoken at peace rallies.

He left a Marine recruiter and returned a peacenik.

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