Originally posted 2009-03-01 08:10:15 -0500. Bumped by carol. This is an apalling story, thanks for tracking it.
N.C. woman settles on alternative to leaving family behind, refusing orders
Lisa Pagan with her husband, Travis, and her children Elizabeth, 4, and Eric, 3, at their home in Davidson, N.C., on Friday. The mom has spent more than a year fighting her recall to active duty.
DAVIDSON, N.C. - When Lisa Pagan reports for duty Sunday, four long years after she was honorably discharged from the Army, she will arrive with more than her old uniform. She is 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, 2001, attacks, only to later receive orders to return to service. They are not in training, they are not getting a Defense Department salary, but as long as they have time left on their original enlistment contracts, they are 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 Sunday at Fort Benning, Georgia, with her children in tow.