Woman recalled to Army service brings her kids
Sunday, March 1, 2009 (03-01) 04:00 PST Davidson, N.C.
When Lisa Pagan reports for duty today, four long years after she was honorably discharged from the Army, she'll arrive with more than her old uniform. She's bringing her kids, too.
"I have to bring them with me," she said. "I don't have a choice."
Pagan is among thousands of former service members who have left active duty since the attacks of Sept. 11. 2001, only to later receive orders to return to service. They're not in training, they're not getting a Defense Department salary, but as long as they have time left on their original enlistment contracts, they're on "individual ready reserve" status - eligible to be recalled at any time.
Soldiers can appeal, and some have won permission to remain in civilian life. Pagan filed several appeals, arguing that because her husband travels for business, no one else can take care of her kids. All were rejected, leaving Pagan with what she says is a choice between deploying to Iraq and abandoning her family, or refusing her orders and potentially facing charges.
Then she hit on the idea of showing up at Fort Benning, Ga., with her children in tow.
"I either report and bring the children with me or don't report and face dishonorable discharge and possibly being arrested," Pagan said.
Master Sgt. Keith O'Donnell, an Army spokesman in St. Louis, said the commander at Fort Benning will decide how to handle the situation.
"The Army tries to look at the whole picture and they definitely don't want to do anything that jeopardizes the family or jeopardizes the children," O'Donnell said. "At the same time, these are individuals who made obligations and commitments to the country."
Of the 25,000 individual ready reserve troops recalled since September 2001, more than 7,500 have been granted deferments or exemptions, O'Donnell said. About 1,000 have failed to report. O'Donnell said most of those cases are still under investigation, while 360 soldiers have been separated from the Army either through "other than honorable" discharges or general discharges.
This article appeared on page A - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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03-02-2009, 11:24 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
Mother To Report For Duty With Children In Tow
03-02-2009, 01:19 PM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Memphis Tn,USA-now
20 years ago when I took an early out from the Navy due to Congress having their collective heads up their axes for the warmth and could not pass a budget to keep the government running with me in it,I was told that my Individual Ready Reserve status was in effect for ONE calendar year from the date of my seperation from the yacht club.
Even if she had time remaining and took an early out,I don't see how they could be recalling her.
The Army might do things differently than the Navy or things could have been changed.
For grins.When I got out,I immediately headed back to Norfolk Va from Charleston SC to visit a "lady" friend whom I badly wanted to get reacquainted with.Halfway through North Carolina,I got pulled over by a state trooper who said that he'd been looking for a sailor.("Hey man,I don't go that way but if YOU do,I know a fella...")
What he wanted was the guy who'd been throwing Navy "issue" dungarees out on his highway so he could go back and pick them up.Unfortumately,the name on my driver's license matched the name on the shirts so I had to go back and get them.
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