Monday, March 02, 2009

Just put the kids over there and get your ass to Iraq

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A soldier who reported for duty with her children in tow has been granted her request for a discharge, her lawyer said Monday.

Lisa Pagan, of Davidson, North Carolina, reported for duty Monday morning at Fort Benning, Georgia, with her two preschool children. She had been honorably discharged from active duty at the rank of specialist nearly four years ago but was recalled as part of the Individual Ready Reserve program.

The former Army truck driver asked for a reprieve from deployment because her husband travels for business and they would have no one to care for their children if she was sent overseas. Until Monday, her request had been denied.

Late Monday afternoon, Pagan's lawyer told CNN the Army would grant her request and begin the process of discharge again, this time for good.
Well that was right good of them. I guess they had to actually see the children to realize what she was talking about...

Update 3/4: Posted my response to comments here.

19 comments:

MJ said...

Yeah - enlisted in 2002 - got paid and trained on the gov't dime. At the time of her enlistment she signed a document stating that she has arrangements in place for her kids. Then when they call you to serve - you don't. AND she gets away with it !

Do you know how many women leave their kids because it's their job and it's what they agreed to do? Why is she special !

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Wiseguy,

She didn't have kids until she was discharged from the military. She had no arrangements in place because she had no kids at the time.

Next time do a little research before you spout nonsense.

Anonymous said...

This lady served her time honorably,now is time to take care of her family. I wish her the best.

Anonymous said...

Daddy's dont get to say, "I cant go because I have no one to watch my children"....So what makes her so frickin special? My husband is headed over to Iraq for his 3rd tour since 2003, and we have children, I/We never got that option to say we dont have anyone to help watch our kids. I work nights, but have to just "figure it out". So, if you have never been over there, you should have to do your time as well, your husband and family will just have to "figure it out"....they arent alone, and arent the first to say, "what the hell am I supposed to do now?". Plenty of other Americans are serving their Country proudly, even being called back from IR status, as she was. GET OVER IT!!! You arent the first woman in the military with children to get deployed. Mothers shouldnt have anymore special privelages than fathers do!!! Plain and simple. Do your Job!!! Im a woman, but this is one reason women shouldnt be in the military. Using their children to keep them from deploying, shes not the first and now definately wont be the last....Thanks alot.

Anonymous said...

She signed a contract and has an obligation. I am a military spouse and see single female soldiers take care of their families daily(male and female). If they had them before, during, or after service someone has to be responsible for the children in case of an emergency. I wish no harm to anyone, but if she and her husband were in a car accident or worse, who would take care of the children. I think it is a pathetic excuse for not wanting to complete a contract she signed. She was out, I agree, but she also knew that she could be called back into active duty. Many former female and male soldiers have put their current lives on hold because of these clause. She has no right to be different or special because she is not prepared. She has had plenty of time to get prepared as they did not knock on her door and say "Let's Go", she had a report date. She just chose to fight with the public to make the military look bad. She is a disgrace to all soldiers who put their life on the line and should have been Dishonorably discharged.

Anonymous said...

RE: MJ

It's called Family Hardships. You ARE allowed to leave the military if you are suffering a family hardship. In case you didn't realize it, most of the country is going through family hardships. She served honorably during her obligation to the Army, why should she lose her house and her husband forced to quit his job to take care of their children? She probably didn't have a house and children when she was in the Army. Going back into the Army would cause undue hardship for her and her family because, let me just take a guess, but an E-4 paycheck is probably not gonna be as much as what her husband makes. Just a guess. How is she gonna make mortgage payments? Her family made the commitment to buy a house and all the financial burdens that come along with it after she was out of the Army.

I'm sure that if she had known she would be recalled back, she and her family would've never done that. Also, to the woman who says her husband is going back to Iraq for his 3rd Tour--I hope he is safe during his time there and comes back safely...but you probably live on post where you don't have to pay rent or you get a decent amount of BAH and BAS to cover most of the costs of living off-post. If you own a house, is your payments more than what your husband makes as a soldier? Because no one joins the military to become rich. PLENTY of people make less money in the military than in the civilian world. Especially those in the medical field who are in the guard or reserves and forced to take the paycheck the government hands out to them to make due with all their expenses. You see what I'm getting at?

Anonymous said...

What you don't understand is that the Army does this a lot with soldiers who are almost out of thier IRR commitment. It happened to me 1 month before my IRR commitment expired. I served 4 years active duty, separated in October 2000 and in September 2004 I was called back. The same thing happened to several of my friends. Yes, we had a contract, but it seems like the Army waits until the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) commitment is almost over, then calls people back knowing it can keep them for two years after they are called. Everybody knows about the IRR commitment, but noone really understands the "backdoor" clause - the clause that allows the Army to keep them two years after the commitment is over. The Army is exploiting this, and that is what makes it annoying. Notice the dates - this soldier's IRR commitment was almost over and the Army would have tried to keep her, deployed, for snother 2 years. So when the Army tells you that you are committing to eight years - it is a lie, because in these cases, the Army effectively gets you for ten.

DB said...

Fuck the children. Great attitude. Don't you think the system is jacked up and not the people who have already served honorably? Rather than call out someone who has already served her country honorably, let's look into alternative solutions, shall we?

Why aren't we discussing why she is being recalled? Has this war been managed so poorly that we do not have enough people already signed up and ready to go at a moments notice?? Where are all the proud "patriotic" conservatives signing up in droves? Surely, with the lowering of recruitment standards we would have enough people to fight this war, right? I am sure you are a huge defender of "stop-loss" too. I suppose you think taking out Iraq was essential as well. Still believe the WMD story, huh?

Maybe you should tear into our leaders with your self-righteous bullshit for their handling of the war that is putting American families into this position rather than the people who are fighting and dieing for this country. The problem isn't this lady, it is the system and our leaders. She had the courage to challenge the system that she felt was wronging her. You defend it. Don't question her honor if you don't want me to question yours.

btw, don't try and play the "women shouldn't serve card". What the hell is wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

We must all realize that this is one specific case. She played her cards well and they came out in her favor. You can not judge her by comparing and contrasting your situation to hers. Like the person said in the one comment:

"Fuck the children. Great attitude. Don't you think the system is jacked up and not the people who have already served honorably? Rather than call out someone who has already served her country honorably, let's look into alternative solutions, shall we?"

We have the mentality that if I am suffering-everyone else has to suffer like me. That is called the "crabs-in-the-bucket. Like the guy said, why are you shitting on someone who has served their country proudly for all them years and then say she is not patriotic because she would rather TAKE CARE OF HER CHILDREN. The people who have spout off at the mouth often do not rush to volunteer, because they wouldn't want their child to go through that. The ones who spout off at the mouth first, would never sacrifice like that. Lastly, the ones who spout off at the mouth often do not have the courage to stand up to the government when the government violates all that these soldiers fight for.

lms said...

I have heard that the military has been acheiving and exceeding their recruiting goals with the current economic situation in the USA. Why is it necessary under these conditions to recall honorable discharged soldiers 4 year later for any reason regardless of gender?

To those families who spouses and loved ones are serving--God Bless and God Speed them home safely, thank you for your sacrifices, but the situation that calls for this many tours in 7 years is a grand FUBAR. In Nam--rarely did anyone serve more than one tour unless they volunteered or a significant amount of time passed between tours--and beleive me when I say, the support for the military was not anything like it is today regardless of the indivuals stance on Iraq

Anonymous said...

What everyone is forgetting is she knew that there was chance that she could be called back and she should have made plans. It is a shame that she is getting special treatment then men. I served in the military and I have seen more women obtain Honorable discharges due to pregnancy and other hardships then men. My father has six children and they had no problem sending him off to war. If she receives an Honorable discharge then I think any man that has been in the same situation should consider suing the military for discrimination. In addition where was her husband when she created this circus of bring her kids with her to report to duty.

Anonymous said...

As a female who's in the Reserves and just had a baby, I would like to thank this woman whose actions reflect negatively on all female Soldiers. I thought long and hard before I brought my baby into this world b/c I knew that my commitment to the Army meant that I needed child care arrangements for my baby in the event that I was called to serve overseas. I have no doubt that she understood this as well when she decided to have children. Using children and the media to avoid deployment is not honorable. T/f, she should be dishonorably discharged for such actions.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this issue. When I see a mother of a service member angry that her son or daughter is being deployed to a hostile country or a mother stating she can't deploy because of her family, it angers and embarrasses me.
I am a female service member with a family. I can assure you, first hand, that every service member knows that they have the responsibility to deploy without notice. That's what they signed a contract to do. If they didn't think they could handle this, then they should have found a different profession.
I am interested in what kinds of programs this woman took part in while in the service. Did she get a bonus for joining the Army, did she get additional money because she has a family, was she eligible for base housing, did she receive education benefits such as tuition assistance and the GI Bill, did she learn a skill that she will use when discharged, did she use base services such as daycare, housing, exchange and commissary privileges, space A seating on aircraft, or 30 days of leave every year. I would imagine that she did. Many people join the military for these privileges. That is what they are, privileges. They give you these entitlements with the stipulation that you abide by your contract. It is a give and take. Additionally, we as taxpayers are paying for these entitlements that this woman has in effect stolen.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that many people join because they want to protect their great country, but these men and women would be declining a deployment in this very public way. They would be eager and proud to serve their country.
We are one of the only countries in this world with a volunteer military. With that being said, this woman should not be granted an honorable discharge. By doing so, the military is tarnishing the reputation of members with an honorable discharge and those hoping to receive an honorable discharge at the completion of their contract agreement. An honorable discharge means that you have sacrificed for the good of your country and democracy.

Anonymous said...

Every military member should understand their obligation. The obligations are explained in detail. They are told that there is a four to six year inactive responsibility after discharge. This woman put herself in this situation, having a child and buying a home, knowing that she may be called back to active duty. How do you suppose we handle these situations? Let everyone out of the service that finds themselves in a "hardship." How do you define "hardship?" The military’s definition of “hardship,” is situations such as a child with an ailment that needs special attention. Hardships are not circumstances that the service member could have avoided with proper planning. If this becomes precedence, we will be hard-pressed as a nation to find individuals willing to sacrifice for the benefit of their country. Additionally, women will continue to be second rate citizens.

Shades said...

My apologies ahead of time if I seem dispassionate, but I see this as an organizational leadership (or lack thereof) issue. It shouldn't have gotten to the point at which the veteran had to force the issue w/ her kids.

Post-sep mobilization is a personnel management tool ill-suited to non-national emergency scenarios. At this late stage and steady state of ops, the Army shouldn't have to be resorting to using it.

I talk privately to a lot of Army buddies who would get lynched for their opinions that the Army needs to abandon their primary deployment org structure based on huge divisions and whole units, instead of skills like the AF does it. You can't get an Army truck driver unless you deploy the whole combat org/unit that owns the whole unit that owns the truck driver.

This little vignette is indicative of the Army's need to seriously re-tool their orgs and expeditionary concepts of operation, to say nothing of how they utilize the Reserve force.

Active @ Jackson said...

This is so so funny! I agree with all points really. Your right many people aren't as lucky as she was and still have to figure it out. But here is the kicker. They said "Until Monday her request was denied." This roughly says her chain of command told her to “figure it out." What is great is she went and got a -CIVILIAN- Lawyer. Once you pierce that military veil you see how fast everything bends. Media coverage is everything when you’re fighting against the military. So yea she did her time and got out honorably. Situations change it’s not fair for males wah wah. I know I am active duty life isn’t fair some people get over some don’t. Attacking the person is ignorant it’s a case by case situation just because one person was denied don’t be spiteful – grow up.

DB said...

Bottom line, the system is broken. You guys would rather maintain the status quo by attacking this lady then questioning the system. Typical conservative mentality.

btw, all the anonymous comments are suspicious...looks to me like one person is having a hard time proving their point.

ellroon said...

Thanks for the excellent comments, you guys. I'm responding in a new post in a bit.

ellroon said...

Posted my response to comments here.