Monday, March 2, 2009

Military to Mom: To hell with the kids, we own you! Thanks for Volunteering Sucker!

I’ve never understood the attitude the military service has taken against soldiers families, the kids specifically, and the hardship levied upon them like a sledge hammer. What a way to treat those who’ve volunteered to serve their nation. Let’s hope Lisa Pagan has a little more luck shining a bright light on the military, and its ruthless, heartless bullying. AP picks up the story:

When Lisa Pagan reports for duty Sunday at Fort Benning, Ga., 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 Sept. 11 attacks, only to later receive orders to return to service. Soldiers can appeal, and some have won permission to remain in civilian life. Pagan filed several appeals … 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.

Pagan said. "I either report and bring the children with me or don't report and face dishonorable discharge and possibly being arrested. I guess I'll just have to make my case while I'm there."

Master Sgt. Keith O'Donnell, an Army spokesman in St. Louis, said "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. He said Pagan isn't likely to face charges, since none of the individual ready reserve soldiers who have failed to report faced a court-martial.

Tom Tarantino, a policy associate with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a nonprofit group that helps veterans, said …”I'm sure what the military is telling her — and I'm not saying that this is exactly the right answer — but the fact that it is inconvenient for her husband's job is not the military's problem. It's very harsh."

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