Saturday, January 16, 2010

GI Resister Cliff Cornell: Free At Last!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunrise at Camp Lejeune, NC. Quaker House board member Curt Torell and I (Chuck Fager, QH Director)are here to make a pickup.

It's cold, freezing. We're headed for the brig, to pick up Cliff Cornell, who is due to be released at 0730.

We arrive on time, at the side gate. Cliff isn't there yet, so we wait, huddling into ourselves against the cold.
Turning around I notice a pickup truck parked a few feet away.

What's this? A close look is in order . . . .

I see. And there's more . . . .

John Wayne? Oh, wait . . .

Intriguing. But enough of that, because there's action at the gate:

One more step . . .

And Cliff is Free! (That's him in shorts.)

Shorts? It's what he came in with. Fortunately, Curt brought him some long pants and a jacket.

Then it's on the first tastes of freedom: breakfast at Bojangles, a Pepsi, and a cigarette.(We didn't take a picture of the cancer stick.)

By lunchtime we're passing by Quaker House enroute to the next level of enjoyment . . .

. . .namely a look at the smash new film "Avatar." Cliff is a sci-fi/fantasy fan, and afterwards his review of the film, in full, is: "Awesome."

Around 4 PM Friends and friends gather for a welcoming reception at Quaker House.

A highlight was watching the YoutTube video just posted by folks from the War Resisters Support Committee in Toronto. It brought tears to Cliff's eyes, and you can watch it too, right now:

As things were winding down, Cliff made a brief YouTube appearance of his own, greeting all who have been supporting him through these long months (and years). It's here:

Cliff will head out for home in Arkansas in a day or so, and get on with his life. We wish him the best in this continuing journey, and want to add or thanks to all who have helped out with the support of his difficult stand of conscience.


Lil'J said...

Hey Cliff,
We're really happy that you're out of prison. Best of luck to you and we hope to see you back in Canada soon.
(wife of P.McDowell-also a war resister)

Pam said...

We admire what you did - sticking with your conscience - even in the face of imprisonment. Keep that strength and inner wisdom alive.
Pam and Pat

Matt said...

Hi Cliff
I'm proud to be your friend.


bosuncookie said...

Your courage is inspiring!

Steve Lee