Monday :: Nov 15, 2004

Welcome To The Hotel Fort California?


by pessimist

The War Machine of George Warmonger Bu$h is running out of non-draft options. One of those that they are still trying to fly with involves violating the law, but then that is not big deal to them, is it? After all - if they can get the Supreme Court to overturn the will of the people just so that the 'correct' person wins, and then they massage the vote so that it appears he's really been reelected, who's going to question why they go after those who have served their full time in the military and order them back to active duty anyway?

It happened to this man:

The Army's long arm

Three years after he was honorably discharged from the Army, Frederick Pistorius was surprised to learn he was a deserter.

But there it was, on his doorstep: a letter from Barry W. Kimmons, Deputy Chief, Deserter Information Point Extension Office of the Army Reserve Personnel Command.

"On 12 July 2004 you were involuntarily mobilized to active duty in the United States Army," the letter says. "To date you have not reported to your mobilization station as required by your orders." Possibly Pistorius had not responded for two reasons. The Pistorius family had moved from the address in Sharon, Pa., to which the Army had sent its first letter. More saliently, having served honorably in not one but two branches of the U.S. military, with no additional obligation showing on his discharge papers, Pistorius would have had no reason to think he was subject to anything but his civilian job at a local steel plant.

You ex-Marines will love this excuse the Army gives:

"They basically told me that my Marine Corps time doesn't count as military service," Pistorius said.

Are all you ex-Marines ready to get YOUR call-up notice to become a dogface for Uncle Sam's Club?

Pistorius was honorably discharged from the Army in July 20, 2001. His certificate of release attests to his accomplishments: Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter qualification. The upper corner is the spot in which the military lists a departing member's reserve obligation, the amount of time discharged soldiers, sailors and Marines remain subject to recall. For Pistorius, the boxes contain a succession of zeroes.

Because he was discharged well after his prior reserve obligation had passed, the Army laid no further claim to him, until someone in St. Louis ignored those zeroes and went hunting for a fresh body to fill a manpower shortage that grows more painful with every Iraqi sunset.

Faced with a threat of AWOL charges, and worried that a spotless military record was about to be stained, Pistorius headed last month to Camp McGrady in South Carolina.

"The first thing they did was thank us for showing up," Pistorius said. "They had 150 that were supposed to show up and about 75 did. Of those 75 maybe only 40 or 50 are medically fit."

"It's unbelievable some of the guys they're bringing down there."

One man arrived with a hospital identification band still on his wrist. He'd just had knee surgery. One 48-year-old from Alabama had a hip replacement and fused vertebrae in his back. "He showed them the documents, but they still made him come down to be examined by their doctors," Pistorius said.

Pistorius spoke of a man called back from upstate New York. "He had no teeth and he had arthritis in his leg," he said.

Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel and now a professor at Boston University, wasn't surprised at the report.

"The Individual Ready Reserve -- that title is a misnomer. They're not ready," Bacevich said. "It's the equivalent of me walking out here on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, and taking the first 5,000 people I meet and saying 'you're now in the military.' "

Considering that this tactic by Bu$hCo to avoid announcing the resumption of the draft is running out of useful bodies, I sincerely hope that all of those draft-age Republicans have their bags packed so that they can rush out the door when the call to war from Owwer Leedur comes. After all, Pistorius won't be there:

At Camp McGrady, Pistorius kept up his campaign to convince the Army they had essentially drafted a civilian. He said at one point an Army lawyer in South Carolina held out the receiver so he could hear the person on the other end explain that his big problem was showing up. So many people had either moved or ignored their orders to report that the Army was loath to part with a reasonably healthy one that had.

Suddenly, on Nov. 5, Pistorius was ordered to pack up. He was driven to the airport and told he was going home. At the last minute, he was handed a letter declaring: "You are released from active duty, by reason of physical disability." He had already packed up the pre-deployment assessment that said precisely the opposite.

The letter also says he's subject to reserve obligation until Feb. 26, 2006.

Now's the time for all of you wrong-wing heroes to step up and save your fathers from being recalled into the service you avoid but support loudly! Enlist now!


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