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A victory for the Peace Lovers

A San Jose lance corpral who was denied Conscientious Objector status on the basis that he was not a full, practicing Buddhist has been released from military service after a judge reversed the CO status rejection.

23-year-old Robert Zabala is FREE!

From SFGate.com ...

Zabala, a UC Santa Cruz student, began boot camp in June 2003. During a three-month period that summer, one of Zabala's superiors repeatedly gave speeches about "blowing s -- up" or "kicking some f- a-," which caused him to wonder "how someone could be so motivated to kill," he wrote in his court petition in April 2006.

In August 2003, a fellow recruit committed suicide on the shooting range, and the same superior used profanities to belittle him, Zabala wrote, saying he was "abhorred by the blood lust (the superior) seemed to possess."

An instructor showed recruits a "motivational clip" showing Iraqi corpses, explosions, gunfights and rockets set to the song "Bodies," by the heavy-metal band Drowning Pool. The lyrics included "Let the bodies hit the floor," and Zabala said he cried -- his only time while in boot camp -- while other recruits nodded their heads in time with the beat and smiled.

"The sanctity of life that formed the moral center of petitioner's life was being challenged," Collier wrote in a court filing.

After Zabala returned to UC Santa Cruz, he had a conversation with a fellow Marine in May 2004. "I began to think about the thousands of people who died in the past year in war, who didn't die due to just one soldier or suicide bomber, but largely by an organization," Zabala recounted. "This organization trains to kill human life."

And there will be more to follow.

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