The young man knew that his decision would have life time consequences. He thought long and hard over his situation and was secure in the knowledge that he had made the right choice.
Sure enough, as soon as word reached the ears of everyone who knew him, the consequences made themselves known. First, his friends didn't want anything to do with him. His family shunned him, he was no longer invited to gatherings with them or other relatives, they acted as though he didn't exist.
He was never able to find a good paying job because of the stigma, living alone, he never married. When his parents died, he discovered that he was excluded from the will.
Finding himself an outcast, he never the less got by. Many years later, he knew he was dying, but he never regretted his decision, he knew intellectually, morally and philosophically that it was the only option for him.
When he died, he was buried in an unmarked grave. No parades for his type, no days to honor him, no moment of silence for his passing. He did not expect anything, he did it for his own integrity, and although he would have liked things to be different, he never regretted his decision. Maybe some day, there will be special parking spots at grocery stores marked: “Parking for consciences objectors.”
He made his decision based on what he thought was right. Veterans also make their decisions based on what they felt was right. War is when the government tells you who your enemy is. Non compliance is when you have already figured it out for yourself.