My husband, the conscientious objector, has his fate decided on Friday

Michael felt he could not serve after learning the truth about the Afghan war, but the navy mocked him. Maybe now he’ll be heard

Lillian Lyons

On Friday a 24-year-old navy medic faces a decision that could lead him to military prison after becoming one of the few conscientious objectors in the Royal Navy since the second world war. That man is my husband, Michael Lyons. He joined the navy in 2005 at 18, as a medical assistant submariner. He chose the medic path because he wanted to help people. In 2008 Michael was promoted to the role of leading medical assistant, and has been very proud of his service to his country for the past five years.

Throughout his navy career he has spent a considerable amount of time hundreds of feet below sea level, thousands of miles away from his home land. Both of us come from military families: my grandfather was a regimental sergeant major in the army and Michael’s was a pilot in the RAF. Sadly both died while serving their country.

Last June Michael received an order to deploy for a patrol base in Afghanistan on the 1 March. We were recently engaged and had been planning our wedding for 2011. Michael felt he wanted me to have the legal protection of being his wife, should something happen to him in Afghanistan. So we sacrificed the dream wedding in a beautiful country house that we had booked and married quickly at a register office. We downsized and began to visit family as much as possible before his deployment. All this was done with a sense of duty, knowing that Michael had to go to Afghanistan to serve his country. He was proud.

However, in July this year Michael learned 76,000 military documents had been leaked on the internet and published in analysed form in various newspapers. These documents detailed the military’s under-reporting of civilian casualties caused by Nato troops, both in the air and on the ground. Examples included the convoy of US marines apparently driving down a six-mile stretch of highway firing at everyone they saw: 19 unarmed civilians were killed and a further 50 wounded. Closer to home there were the allegations that Royal Marines had shot innocent drivers and motorcyclists on eight separate occasions over a six-month period, and that Ghurkhas had called in an air strike on a family compound, leaving seven innocents dead. These were just some of the reports.

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