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Old 10-27-2004, 04:22 PM   #1
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President Bush's Executive Order 13223- Resist the DRAFT! It is WRONG!

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,6844820.story

The military's new Catch-22

Extended duty leaves some enlistees torn by a sense of loyalty and a feeling of being misled.

By Bettijane Levine
Times Staff Writer

October 27, 2004

To understand the effect of the Army's "stop loss" (what some call the "back-door draft"), it's important to know how this sudden extension of military service affects those caught up in it. And to know that for those who volunteer to serve for a limited time — and then are told they must continue in service long after they thought they could go home — the issue is not partisan.

It is neither Republican nor Democratic. It is not a statement for or against the U.S. mission in Iraq. It is simply a shocker: a mysterious and sometimes unfathomable trip into a kind of Twilight Zone that has left thousands of military volunteers confused and disillusioned — and sometimes deployed when they feel they should not be — but still patriotic.

Todd Parrish, 31, went to college on an ROTC scholarship, with a commitment to serve four years of active duty and four years in the Reserve after graduation. He completed those commitments in December 2003. That's when he married Colette Doyle. "We waited until my contract with the military was over, so we could build a life free of obligations I created before I met her," Parrish says.

In March, Parrish and his new wife bought a house in Cary, N.C. In April, he accepted a promotion to run his company's engineering department. In May, he received orders, by regular mail, calling him up for active duty. He was to report to Ft. Sill, Okla., on June 11.

"It's just a mistake," he soothingly told his distraught wife. He could easily correct it. He phoned the Army's Human Resources Command in St. Louis, told them that they'd made an error, that he had already completed his eight-year contractual agreement.

"At first they said I hadn't served my active duty. I produced paperwork to show that I had." He also produced papers to prove he had completed all eight years of service. "That's when they began to claim I had not resigned my commission, therefore I was still in the Army. I sent them a copy of my original letter of resignation, which I had delivered by hand four years previously, signed by the officers in my chain of command."

The Army replied that his resignation had never been accepted. That was news to him.

"That's when I started to realize the problem was much bigger than simple paperwork or a minor procedural error. The answers they gave me kept changing, based on the answers I gave to them and based on the documentation I provided."

Parrish hired military law attorney Mark Waple. He filed a lawsuit, which argued that the Army's effort to recall Parrish was a breach of his contract, that it was a denial of his constitutional right to liberty, without due process, among other things. For the last five months, Waple and Parrish have been contesting the Army's claim and requesting extensions of his report date.

Parrish's experience is just one of many scenarios being played out across the country in which military personnel say they feel caught between their desire to be loyal to their country and their feeling that they have been misled, if not deceived.

In California, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man who claims his promised one-year tryout with the National Guard has been involuntarily extended, potentially for years. A New Yorker who completed his military service is protesting his orders back into the Reserve, and a middle-age reservist with an infant son and aging parents is trying to prevent his deployment to Iraq.

While the issue is playing out as much symbolically as in actual numbers, attorney and West Point graduate Waple says he has heard from dozens of desperate men and women with similar problems. In Parrish's case, Waple says from his office near Ft. Bragg, N.C., the Army claims that the former officer did not check a box on a form, indicating that he had resigned his commission at the end of his eight years of service.

Lt. Col. Pamela Hart of the Army Human Resources Command says that enlisted personnel automatically get their discharge after eight years but that officers, including Parrish, "have to write a letter requesting to be discharged or they will be on an indefinite status" in the Reserve. Although Parrish did submit a letter, he failed to check the resignation box on an address verification form from the Army, says his lawyer.

Parrish is now on his sixth administrative delay, which expires today. If he doesn't report for duty, the Army could charge him with being a deserter. "Deserters can be put to death," Parrish says.

Waple says he will continue to appeal; Parrish says he'll report for duty if necessary. He shows no bitterness or anger but seems puzzled and disappointed. In college and in business, he says he learned the value of contracts. He says he knows he fulfilled his contract with the military; it doesn't make sense that the Army would not honor its contract with him.

Would he consider leaving the country? "No sane person would do that. I would not choose to give up my citizenship, my family, my friends. I would rather choose to give up another year of my life. I spent four great years on active duty in the U.S. Army. I made lifelong friends. And if it comes down to it and I have a choice between being a deserter or serving my country again, I choose to serve."

Waple is not so sanguine. He has heard from too many people who are caught in what he calls "this Catch-22." In New York last Sunday, an emergency hearing was held to prevent the Army from recalling a highly decorated officer who says he completed his eight-year obligation to the service. On Oct. 1, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento on behalf of a combat veteran bound for Iraq, identified only as John Doe.

Doe is an enlistee in the National Guard. He signed up for a special program designed for those who had already served on active duty. "It is a one-year trial period to find out whether they want to sign up for further duty in the Guard," says Joshua Sondheimer, the filing attorney with the San Francisco firm that submitted the suit. "Even the name, Try One, confirms the one-year concept."

In this case, Doe had left the military after serving eight years. He later signed up for the Try One program with the understanding that at the end of the year his term of service would be over. But before his year had expired, he was told he was being mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom for a period of 545 days — about a year longer than his promised term. What's more, under the Army's controversial stop-loss policy (which allows such extensions of military service), soldiers such as Doe can possibly have their service extended until Dec. 24, 2031, according to Sondheimer.

Army Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty disputes that claim. "The date 2031 is purely administrative, a marker to track in our computer system these soldiers." He says the maximum extension is two years of cumulative service.

Hart, of the Army Human Resources Command, says the extensions are authorized under President Bush's Executive Order 13223, issued Sept. 14, 2001. But Doe's attorneys claim that the executive order does not cover "nation-building service in Iraq." And that in the absence of a declaration of war by Congress, the involuntary extension of service is a violation of the soldiers' enlistment contracts.

Marguerite Hiken, co-chairwoman of the National Lawyers Guild's military law task force, says her office has been flooded with calls from service members who feel they have been deployed too often, "who say they've already served in Iraq and their term of enlistment is over, according to their contract, but they aren't being let out. They feel they've been extended almost indefinitely. They desperately want to get home, to see their children."

And, she says, calls have increased from distraught soldiers who are thinking of going AWOL or who have already done so. "We tell them that's illegal and to immediately turn themselves in."

Hiken says the GI Rights Hotline, run by a coalition of nonprofit groups, including hers, has also been flooded. It is receiving more than 3,000 calls per month. "We are beyond our capacity to deal with all this. We get calls from all over the world."

New Yorker Jay Ferriola, 31, waits to hear this week whether the Army will release him from further service. Ferriola formally resigned from the military after completing his eight-year contract. On Oct. 19, however, he got orders to report to his Reserve unit last Monday for deployment to Iraq. His attorney, Barry Slotnick, contends the order amounts to involuntary servitude, prohibited by the 13th Amendment.

Massachusetts military law attorney Louis Font agrees. "To send someone a notice that they're on active duty after the expiration of their period of service is to send the notice to a civilian. That's a draft … a backdoor draft. That's compulsory military service … against the individual's will."

Rick Howell has been trying to find a solution with the help of the military. He is 47 and spent 16 years on active duty as a maintenance pilot in the Army. He served in South Korea and Germany and did drug interdiction in the Caribbean. During that time, he says, he had no home life because he moved around so much. No stable romantic relationships because he never knew where he'd be sent next.

When the Army was downsizing in 1997, he received an annuity as a bonus for leaving active duty and joining the Reserve. That's when his real life began, he says.

He fell in love, married, tried to start a family. After three years of fertility treatments, his wife finally became pregnant. On July 31, she went to the mailbox at their North Carolina home, found a mailgram that she opened and flew to the phone to call her husband, in tears.

She read: "Pursuant to presidential executive order of 14 September, 2001, you are relieved from your present reserve component status and are ordered to report for active duty on August 31."

Howell immediately requested an exemption or a delay. The military denied the exemption but gave him a 60-day delay.

Their son was born Sept. 2. "I really felt that everything was perfect. I had waited my entire life for this. I knew that at my age, this would be my only child. I wanted to be there for his birth, for his development, for my wife. I also have aging parents I need to take care of."

He is appealing the denial of his request for an exemption, based on his personal situation.

Howell is also partially disabled from an accident while in the military. "I have a lower back injury, an arthritic knee and my arm has pins in it. I'm 20% disabled and I get treated at the veterans hospital. So they want a 47-year-old, partly disabled, brand-new father to come back into the Army?"

If Howell has to go back, he believes the Army will assign him to a Reserve unit headed for Iraq. The irony, he says, is that "I'm a maintenance test pilot. They don't need me as that. They need basic supply and transport people, which is what I'll probably be."

Is he angry? It's surprise and disappointment that comes through in his voice over the phone. "If the Army would let me go back and take my wife and child, if we could find a location here in the U.S. to serve, it wouldn't be so bad." All he wants, after serving 16 years and becoming a father in middle age, is to keep his family together, he says.

Randy Sooter, owner of Sooter's Auto Service in Tucson, is a Vietnam veteran and a volunteer with the Department of Defense who gives briefings on salaries, benefits and other administrative topics to local members of the National Guard and the Reserve. "Most of the guys here have been back and forth from Iraq twice," he says. "They come back, get adjusted to their homes and jobs, and within six or nine months they are told to go back again."

Sooter says it's not good for the employers, not good for the soldiers, their families — and probably not good for the country.

"Both candidates talk about an all-volunteer Army. But I don't think they'll ever get the numbers they need if things continue like this. They need more men. They need to pay them better. And they need not to be afraid of the word 'draft.' "

Quite a few experienced military and government observers are quietly uttering the "D" word, although neither major political party wants to be associated with it. Especially before the presidential election.

But, they say, if conditions remain as they are — with permanent U.S. bases in 18 foreign countries and American troops stationed in more than 100 nations (138,000 soldiers in Iraq) — it seems likely that the military's reliance on the National Guard and reservists will continue.

If the draft were reinstated, men such as Parrish would probably not be affected. But if they were, they likely would not balk or dissent. As Parrish says: "I love my country. I just want to do what's right — and I want them to do right for me."
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:08 PM   #2
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i know it is a lot to read


so here is the gist...


Quote:
Todd Parrish, 31, went to college on an ROTC scholarship, with a commitment to serve four years of active duty and four years in the Reserve after graduation. He completed those commitments in December 2003. That's when he married Colette Doyle. "We waited until my contract with the military was over, so we could build a life free of obligations I created before I met her," Parrish says.

In March, Parrish and his new wife bought a house in Cary, N.C. In April, he accepted a promotion to run his company's engineering department. In May, he received orders, by regular mail, calling him up for active duty. He was to report to Ft. Sill, Okla., on June 11.

"It's just a mistake," he soothingly told his distraught wife. He could easily correct it. He phoned the Army's Human Resources Command in St. Louis, told them that they'd made an error, that he had already completed his eight-year contractual agreement.
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:22 PM   #3
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Lots to read, but interesting stuff.

Sometimes I´m just happy that I´m NOT an American citizen. At other times, I think it´s cool (esp. regarding wages, work possibilities and entrepreneurship) but at other times I consider myself lucky.

Anyway if I lived in the U.S., I would never have volunteered to serve anyway. Keep myself out of the war machinery - thanks but nope thanks.
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:27 PM   #4
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even if i volunteered the military wouldn't take me. i'm 5'1", 85 pounds. i've dislocated my right shoulder which has permanently damaged it, my elbow, and both hips, which still give me trouble. physically i'm worthless to the military, and i suck/hate math, so i couldn't be a good thinker either. oh well i prefer the world of political wars.
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
even if i volunteered the military wouldn't take me. i'm 5'1", 85 pounds. i've dislocated my right shoulder which has permanently damaged it, my elbow, and both hips, which still give me trouble. physically i'm worthless to the military, and i suck/hate math, so i couldn't be a good thinker either. oh well i prefer the world of political wars.
lol, you make yourself sound quite meek.
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:52 AM   #6
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Bonus points for using "Draft" in the subject line.

More scare tactics courtesy of the DNC.
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Army honorably discharges captain who challenged Iraq assignment

By Associated Press, 11/5/2004 17:46

NEW YORK (AP) The Army has agreed to honorably discharge an Army captain who challenged his assignment to Iraq in court, saying he had properly resigned.

Jay Ferriola, 31, emerged smiling from U.S. District Court on Friday after his lawyer, Barry Slotnick, told a judge that Ferriola was withdrawing his legal challenge because the Army on Wednesday had formally and honorably discharged him.

''I'm very happy,'' Ferriola said.

Ferriola, a New Yorker who had served in South Korea and Bosnia, said he brought his lawsuit two weeks ago because he was assigned to Iraq even though he had told the Army in June that he was resigning because his eight-year term was finished.

The Army had not acted on his resignation request until he sued the government.

''It wasn't a fear of going over,'' Ferriola said. ''I didn't want to lose 18 months of my life whether I was going to Iraq or Paris.''

Is not this a load of crap.


Why do the people have to get lawyers?
and file lawsuits just because they do not want to be cannon fodder for Ws and Rumsfeld failed policies?
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:03 AM   #8
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Anyone here besides me actually seen a military contract?

There is a clause that permits you to be retained for up to two years, or called back for up to two years.

Read the fine print.
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:06 AM   #9
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Oh, and to make things very clear on something the article does not address, was the soldier in an occupation in the service that was needed to fulfill the mission. The article does not indicate if this soldier was fulfilling a job that was essential, nor does it indicate the enlistment rate for the job that the soldier was performing. For all we know there were plenty of soldiers enlisted to award promotions to fill this soldiers job.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Anyway if I lived in the U.S., I would never have volunteered to serve anyway. Keep myself out of the war machinery - thanks but nope thanks.
thats all soldiers ask in return. not to go in harms way.
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Anyone here besides me actually seen a military contract?

There is a clause that permits you to be retained for up to two years, or called back for up to two years.

Read the fine print.
i believe you are mistaken.

That is not the case with these individuals.

The order the president signed after 911 is being used as the justification for making them stay beyond their contractual obligation.
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:33 PM   #12
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http://www.dior.whs.mil/forms/DD0004.pdf
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