US Air Force deserter David Hemler has finally come forward after being AWOL since 1984 when he walked off a military base in Germany.
Hemler, who was 21 at the time, claims to have hitchhiked to Sweden after leaving the base. Hemler intended to stay there for just a week but managed to start a new life in the Scandinavian country, using an alias. Now 49, he told media that he deserted after becoming involved with a pacifist church and becoming disillusioned with the policies of the US government, which was led at the time by President Ronald Reagan.
He is now married to a Swedish woman, with whom she has three children. His Pennsylvania family believes that he was dead until he got in touch with them a few weeks ago.
The deserter’s youngest daughter has recently turned two, old enough for his wife to put her in day care in the event of his arrest. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has told that Hemler has already contacted them. The punishment that Hemler will receive remains unclear.