Feared solider flees scene, arrested

FORT BLISS, Texas (AP) – A Minnesota soldier pleaded guilty Monday to going absent without leave and missing a flight to Kuwait in July.

Spc. Melanie McPherson, 28, told a military judge that she hitchhiked to Minnesota after leaving Fort Bliss.

The day before her unit was supposed to leave for Kuwait.

McPherson, who is trained as a military photojournalist, said that she left because she was afraid she would eventually be deployed to Iraq as a truck driver or military police officer.

She said both are jobs she was not trained for and feared that if she was sent into a war zone as anything other than a photojournalist, she would be a danger to herself and anyone around her.

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