Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Army Recalling Thousands Who Left Service

The Army announced today that it will be calling up 5,600 troops from the Inactive Ready Reserve to active duty.
In a new sign of the strain the insurgency in Iraq has put on the U.S. military, Army officials said Tuesday the involuntary callups will begin in July and run through December. It is the first sizable activation of the Individual Ready Reserve since the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), though several hundred people have voluntarily returned to service since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
I'm certain that many of my devoted, long-time readers (this would be a good place to throw in one of those insipid winking emoticons) are concerned about my status. Upon joining the National Guard, I signed up in the standard 6-year active reserve, 2-year IRR enlistment. After my six years, I re-upped for another three years, thus completing any IRR obligation. Despite being home free since 1999 and getting up in years, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't wrestled with re-enlisting every day since 9/11. I've even gone through the trouble of verifying that I am still eligible and, yes, because of my nine years, I'm good until about age 44.
The Army is pinpointing certain skills in short supply, like medical specialists, military police, engineers, transportation specialists and logistics experts.
Alas! Apparently they currently have no dire need of my specialty, M1-A1 tank crewman. Oh well, the wrestling match between my civilian life and my sense of duty continues.


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