Reflection from J. Robert Kreider

Reflection from J. Robert Kreider

The following is a reflection from J. Robert Kreider regarding his decision to join CPS:


“After the U.S. entered the war it became clear that our local draft board did not favor the conscientious objector position so I studied and memorized pertinent scripture and thought through my position.

This was a great help when I and one other younger CO from our small congregation went to Cleveland with a large bus load of military draftees for physical examinations. We were the only COs among hundreds of draftees. Every effort was made to make us stand out, especially during induction ceremonies in which, of course, we did not participate. I was closely grilled by several psychiatric examiners while still virtually stripped for my physical, making me as uncomfortable as possible. They tried to trip me up on my answers and to convince me that I was wrong.

These psychiatrists as well as my employers and co-workers in the Medina County courthouse where I was deputy county auditor could not see why I would not take either non-combatant service or Quartermaster Corps work where I could use my vocational training and not have to kill anyone. I consistently answered that both were essential to the military endeavor and that I would not participate in any way.”


--Taken from "Detour...Main Highway": Our CPS Stories. Goshen, IN: College Mennonite Church, 1995. p38-41.