STOCKHOLM, Sweden, June 17 (UPI) -- An American who has lived in Sweden after deserting from the U.S. Air Force in 1984 said he was still frustrated by his homeland's foreign policy.
David Hemler, bolted from a U.S. base in Germany 28 years ago and recently surfaced to tell his story to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyhter.
Hemler said he missed the United States but shakes his head at the similarities between then and now. "Why do politics look like they do today when it was the U.S. that armed the Taliban and the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein?" he asked.
Hemler said he became disillusioned with U.S. foreign policy when President Ronald Reagan took sides with the Contras in Nicaragua, whom he considered terrorists. He said he sought a discharge from the Air Force and went AWOL when his request was denied.
He obtained a Swedish visa in Switzerland and currently has a family and a good job in Stockholm. Hemler told Daens Nyhter he missed his own parents and decided to go public before someone else discovered his true identity and reported him to the authorities. "If I was exposed in Sweden, I feared I'd lose my residence permit," he said.
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