David Hemler, AF deserter has suffered enough

| June 17, 2012

Marine 7002, Old Trooper and Chief Tango sent us a link to an article about some doofus Zoomie, David Hemler, who deserted from the military in 1984 who thinks he’s suffered enough and should be allowed to return to the US without any punishment.

Dagens Nyheter said David Hemler had deserted aged 21 while serving at a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, after getting involved with a pacifist church and becoming disillusioned with the policies of former President Ronald Reagan.

Yeah, Ronald Reagan, that was a reason to desert. Fiery rhetoric. Those pacifist churches are nothing but trouble.

Apparently, he’s still on the Air Force’s “Most Wanted” list

“My dream scenario is that the responsible authorities realize I have already been punished quite severely for my actions … I have been living 28 years in lies,” Hemler said.

Yeah, keep dreaming, gumball. Living the life of luxury in socialist Sweden isn’t prison time. And he works for the Swedish government under an assumed name, I’m sure the nanny state will like that. In 1984, we were cleansing the ranks because of the glut in the recruit pool, I’m pretty sure he could have got a discharge just by asking. But I guess it’s easier to just walk away and then beg forgiveness two decades later.

His douchebaggery almost reaches the level of Alex Bacon, the former executive director of IVAW who went AWOL from the Coast Guard in Hawaii to protest their patrols of the fisheries. Or something.

Category: Shitbags

Comments (114)

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  1. JAGC says:

    A good lawyer could probably negotiate the AF equivalent of a chapter 10, which is discharge in lieu of court martial. This would include negotiated surrender, etc. Of course the GI Hotline people would likely steer him into some ridiculous strategy that makes no sense and is completely antagonistic toward the military.

  2. WEW54 says:

    Fuck him!! I’m an AF veteran who was serving when this little shores walked. Put this fuck in prison!!!

  3. WEW54 says:

    Should read “Little Shit “. Sorry got a bit pissed.

  4. OWB says:

    Me, too, WEW54. Deserters like him deserve nothing special from us. He certainly did nothing to to earn anything other than scorn and the highest penalty he can be given.

  5. DaveO says:

    The punishment is the month of eating Air Farce food, living in a dorm under guard, pushing a broom and cutting the grass until his BCD is processed.

    The guards will, most likely, let him listen to Abba and Justin Bieber on his iPad while he’s working.

  6. ArmyJ says:

    The military never forgets. Recall the case of Sergeant Charles Jenkins. He defected to North Korea while he was assigned to the DMZ in 1965 to avoid having to go to Vietnam. He turned himself in at Camp Zama, Japan in 2004. He was sentenced to 30 days’ confinement, received a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and benefits and was reduced in rank to E-1.

    Those of you who’ve read R.H.’s Starship Troopers will recall the scene where they don’t need to chase deserters down. Eventually they always come back and take their punishment.

    This guy needs to shave the ball tickler off his upper lip (assuming its worse by now), drive down to Germany and turn himself in like a man. That is all.

  7. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    If read the AF blotter right they aren’t after him for just desertion. it says “security matter”.

    The butt nugget was also assigned to a security squadron…WTF ever that is, but it sounds like something important. So….I am not 100% but it looks like the guy is in a little deeper then desertion.

  8. Radar says:

    @7, I was thinking the same thing. Can’t imagine walking away from the AF in 84 would land you on a Most Wanted list.

    Also, things weren’t all that tough for zoomies in Germany circa 1984, suspect there is more to the story.

  9. Lowglow says:

    I was in the AF in 1984 and I can tell you during that year they were asking for volunteers to get out early and all you had to do was ask and they would send you home in a heart beat.

    This guy is full of BS and BTW what wars did Reagan start ?.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Irony is that now, post-DADT, this ghey douchebag would have a place.

  11. Just Plain Jason says:

    Isn’t is so sad when someone screws up then wants to get away with it? Oh no it isn’t sad at all…I just wish Sweden would tighten its belt a little and dig around a little and discover this loser has been living off them. Oh well Sweedes are really nice people.

  12. Old AF Sarge says:

    As a retired Air Force Master Sergeant who remembers when this asshat deserted, suffered enough? By whose standards you miserable piece of whale dung. Get a rope.

  13. DaveO says:

    Whatever the security issue was, it likely got resolved relatively quickly – though not without cost and pain.

    So what does Sweden know, and what did it do with the knowledge?

  14. PintoNag says:

    The reason he’s doing this now is because he thinks Obama will give him a pardon. He knows that if he waits, there’s a good chance there’ll be a new sheriff in town who won’t be so lentient.

    So he’s still trying to avoid responsibility for what he’s done.

  15. PintoNag says:

    That should be “lenient.” Sorry.

  16. Mike Kozlowski says:

    …Steadfast and Loyal is on the right track: this hump was doing something Very Bad when he bailed, and HE KNEW IT. And think about this for a second – that idiot Julian Assange was in Sweden and lost a judicial fight involving classified information that may very well end up with him in a US courtroom answering a great many awkward questions. You gotta believe that poor Davey is spending more than a few nights wondering if he’s next.

    I sincerely hope so.


  17. Ann says:

    Jesus Christ. I disagreed with a lot of George W. Bush’s policies, but I never considered running off crying. I’m sure many agreed with me, and also never deserted. Plenty of TAH readers disagree with President Obama’s policy, and somehow they still overcame their despair and continued to man their posts. At least I now know shirking commitments isn’t just a recent phenomenon.

    Hemler must have not been paying attention during his Oath of Enlistment. There’s nothing about being the President’s Praetorian Guard or service equating to support of their policies. You obey the orders of the President who is acting on behalf of the Constitution and the American people.

    I’d actually admire him if he showed his conviction by growing a pair and filing for CO status. Instead he took the easy way out by running away. It takes courage to completely change your beliefs like that, and staying to face the consequences of your resulting choices.

  18. Isnala says:

    As a current zoomie, I say let him rot in Sweden. If he wants to clear his mind then he should stop living his lie, man the hell up and accept the consequences of his actions. Also while I was only on Brat status in ’84, if memory serves me right Security Sq was just the name for the Security Police Squadrons.


  19. Ann says:

    What ever happened to the legit unselfish conscientious objectors? Groups like the Mennonites didn’t declare themselves CO so they could get wasted in school. I wonder how many of the ‘pacifists’ today would do anything similar to what happened in WWII such as volunteering for the Civilian Public Service, CCC, firefighting, ambulance driving, medical orderlies, and smokejumping. I wish they would teach about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment in schools. Something tells me Hemler has never had to go without Mickie D’s whenever his tummy makes the rumblies only fries can satisfy.

  20. Hondo says:

    My $0.02 worth: we give him a nickname, Fakheem. And we use it while discussing him.

    As in, “Hemler? Fakheem!”

  21. Marine_7002 says:

    The story “The Man Without a Country” comes to mind. He knows that the minute he sets foot on US soil, he’ll be locked up tighter than a bull’s ass during fly season. Because of that, he’s estranged himself from the country of his birth…that’s some small consolation.

    He needs to be “cashiered” from the service, like what was done to the fictional Captain Jason McCord: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cashiering.

    I also remembering hearing many years ago about a young Marine who had disgraced himself and his uniform, and was booted out. The unit held a formation, his misdeeds were recited and the convening authority’s action read, and he was sent on his way…carrying all of his belongings in a sea bag, with an MP vehicle slowly following him so no one would pick him up.

    I remember the gunny saying something to the effect, “It was a long m’ effin’ way to the effin’ front gate!”

  22. Marine_7002 says:

    Oops…left out that I heard that story from an old “Hard Corps” gunnery sergeant who looked as worn out as an old sea bag.

  23. Ex-PH2 says:

    Suffered what? Anyone got an idea? What the hell has he suffered?

    Maybe the Swedish government said “No more freebies. Go home or get deported.”

  24. Sig says:

    We had a guy flee to Canada in 2008 (?) to avoid, um, going to drill weekends, I guess. He gave a sob story to the Toronto Star that basically boiled down to “I was afraid we might someday be mobilized and then someone might give me an unlawful order to torture a detainee (even though I’m not even an interrogator) because the Army taught me Arabic.” Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me, either.

    Eventually, he got an OTH in absentia, and I’m sure he won’t be getting tax returns for a while, since we charged him for all of the gear he never turned in. But no other real consequences. Pity.

  25. Bill R. says:

    The Reuters story says he was serving with the 6913th Electronic Security Squadron in Augsburg, Germany which would not be the cops. ESS usually had to do with signals intelligence. I can see why the AF wants him, if only to find out what he may have divulged.

  26. Bill R. says:

    Oh yeah, 84 was the year of my first reenlistment. I say he has not been punished at all for his crime.

  27. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    He deserted from the AIR FORCE?! What kinda wuss is he? The AIR FORCE??? Sentence him to finish tour in the Marine Corps!!! As a grunt.

  28. SGT Ted says:

    Most likely he found some fine trim in that pacifist church he was angling for. That’s usually the motivator. Hating Reagans Policies was just a pretense to moral authority.

  29. Doc Bailey says:

    So why is it that he suddenly decided NOW was a good time to end his yellow bellied ways? Need I remind you he was part of the AIR FORCE he wasn’t really going to be killing Commies.

    yeah. . .I say pretend like you just want to slap him on the wrist then give max punishment under UCMJ

  30. SGT Ted says:

    I mena, you have to remember back then in the 80s the leftists had a major hard-on for Reagan, claiming he was going to start a nuclear war.

    Probably one of those pro-Commie National Council of Churches affiliates, with the usual assortment of cute, bra-less, neo-hippy chicks in sun dresses, protesting the warmongers. He fell for one of them, no doubt. Or a cute dude.

  31. DaveO says:

    #30 SGT Ted: Our POTUS was, at that time, an anti-nuclear, anti-Reagan protestor. Perhaps this POS feels safe with a kindred spirit in the White House.

  32. Ann says:

    SGT Ted, I think we need to downsize our stash of nukes, but the notion that there would have been a nuclear war among countries is absurd. I don’t think the Soviet Union and America had enough gumption to be willing to destroy the entire human race.

  33. 68W58 says:

    Ann-What? Haven’t you seen The Watchmen? We were right on the brink until Ozymandius conned Dr. Manhattan into letting him figure out how to use his powers and then blew up selected cities to unite us. Too bad about Rorschach and all, but the fragile peace had to be protected.

  34. Ann says:

    68W58, sorry I was too busy throwing up in my popcorn. The director was a little too enthusiastic in showing Billy Crudup’s downstairs mixup. Even my gay guy friends found it gross.

    I guess it’s better than some twisted Care Bear love parable requiring Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandius to use the love they generate from making out to turn all the nukes into kittens and puppies.

  35. I’m sure he’s suffered enought, let him serve whatever time in the brig (or whatever the AF calls it) then give him his dishon discharge, where he’s not allowed to vote, purchase a firearm or run for office, hold any govt job etc…what’s left? He would make an excellant homeless fucking bum.

  36. ROS says:

    Well, I WAS going to sit down and enjoy my boiled peanuts.


  37. Ann says:

    CI, I’d also add in that he’s probably never going to get any job with that record. Bosses don’t like flaky workers.

  38. Joe Williams says:

    No Not only No but Hell No. does living and workind in Sweden equal suffering hardships?As mentioned before a possible security leak.

  39. Ann says:

    Joe, the real punishment will be here. That’s why I say give him his crappy discharge, and dump him right back into society. The stigma he’ll get and basic privileges of a law abiding citizen he lost will mean he’ll be getting quite the punishment. He’s SOL when it will get to be too much since there isn’t a country you’d ever want to live in that allows criminals to immigrate.

  40. Marine_7002 says:

    Here’s what is supposedly an interview with him:


    Has anyone checked to see if he has a Facebook page? I don’t (must be one of about 3,000 people in the country who don’t).

  41. Marine_7002 says:

    Just read the entire interview. He’s a low-life, whining turd with no self-esteem and the spine of a jellyfish.

  42. Ann says:

    @Marine_7002, that interview is ridiculous. He’s an abject coward. A real CO would have faced the consequences of his change in beliefs instead of running away with their tail tucked.

    What I find truly sickening is how he never so much as sent a postcard to his family to let them know he was okay. I could NEVER do that to my parents. If he did that to his parents out of convenience then what would he do to his Swedish family? If his wife has any sense she’ll divorce him.

  43. Yeff says:

    Based on the unit he was in he would have had an extremely high security clearance. Even after all of these years it’s still important that he be properly debriefed.

  44. badams says:

    @43 wall to wall debriefing?

  45. AW1 Tim says:

    I think a better solution is to have some NCIS types (whatever the AF equivalent is) meet him in Sweden and debrief him. Then they give him his Big Chicken Dinner and leave.

    Notify TSA that he is on a “no-fly” list and notify customs that he is on a “forbidden entry” list.

    Let him understand that he can NEVER return to these United States, even for burial.

  46. streetsweeper says:

    @345-Tim; The USAF cops are identical to NCIS & CID and known as Office of Special Investigations (OSI). Since he held a higher grade security clearance, I’m willing to bet their concern would be high but not high enough to have warranted a visit to him by the US Embassy. Let him motor on down to Germany, turn his ass in and suffer like everyone else says.

  47. Hondo says:

    Wonder if we could convince Sweden to extradite this ass? IMO, that would be poetic justice – he runs away to Sweden and lives large on their krona for nearly 3 decades, only to eventually piss them off enough to extradite his ass back to the US to face the music. (smile)

  48. Tom B. says:

    I like AW1 Tim’s idea!

    That “man” did the chicken walk back in the ’80’s and one would THINK that with age and separation from his country and family, he would of matured enough to accept responsibility for his actions and face the music. But NO, he has asked, basically, to just let bygones be. Sorry ass-hat. It doesn’t work that way. But we all see how selfishly narcissistic you are.

  49. NHSparky says:

    Suffered? Really?

    Swedish bikini team “suffered”? Yeah, I’m calling bullshit. Put the guy in Florence Supermax for a few years and see how much he thinks he’s suffering then.

  50. AV says:

    This guy doesn’t have all his dots connected. And I’m not so sure he ever has. Keep that in mind before you judge him as you would judge a sane person.