On 6 December 2004, 3rd class Petty Officer Pablo Paredes stood on the pier of the 32nd street naval base in San Diego as his ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, left for Iraq without him. He reported to the pier wearing civilian clothing and a T-shirt that read: "Like a cabinet member, I resign." "I just want people to know how many Americans feel about the war" Pablo explained "...it's not just a few crazy liberals trying to get the attention of the media." While the Navy officers on hand did try to persuade him to board the ship and cease protest; Pablo maintained his position and did not board the ship. He went on to give several short interviews for local media while at the Pier.
Pablo Paredes joined the US Navy in 2000. he was a young man with enthusiasm for life and a desire to experience the world; thus joining the Navy seemed to be a positive move. When asked if he ever considered that he might be called upon to participate in war, Pablo says "never in a million years did I imagine we would go to war with somebody who had done nothing to us."
On 18 December Pablo Paredes turned himself in to authorities at the 32nd street naval base. Pablo had been AWOL for almost two weeks after he refused to board his Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship, USS Bonhomme Richard. Demonstrators gathered for an afternoon rally to support Pablo and all other Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who act to oppose George Bush's unjust and illegal war.Sources: CBSNews: Deserters: We won't go to Iraq. 8 December 2004
On Pablo Paredes: http://www.swiftsmartveterans.com/, http://www.gifightback.org/