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Ex-GI with sick son wins exemption from backdoor draft

This is about the only exemption that has been successful so far, in the news reports I’ve scanned. They didn’t let a single mom without access to child care was recalled. A 70-year-old surgeon was sent to Afghanistan; there are many more cases of the military’s desperation that have made it clear you can’t get a pass. This, sadly is what it takes to get out of serving in Bush’s folly. (AP):

A former soldier who completed his enlistment five years ago and now has a seriously ill 16-month-old son has won an exemption from being recalled to active duty for service in Iraq.

Terry Fitzpatrick, 26, of Milton said an Army representative called Tuesday and told him and his wife, Susan, that his Individual Ready Reserve call-up had been canceled. “I’m really relieved,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t know if it was the publicity or what.”

A spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush said the Army Reserve also informed Bush’s military adviser, Glenn Sutphin, of the decision. Sutphin had contacted Army officials at Bush’s request after seeing news reports about Fitzpatrick’s situation. The Fitzpatricks’ son, Will, suffers from multiple birth defects, including a malformed heart and gap between his esophagus and stomach. He cannot yet walk, lags intellectually and needs special feedings and daily medication.

The Fitzpatricks have adjusted their work schedules to care for Will. Susan Fitzpatrick had said she would have had to quit her job as a restaurant manager to care for Will if her husband had gone back into the Army. Terry, a carpenter, completed a three-year enlistment as an Army mechanic five years ago. He was ordered to report back for duty Nov. 18 but obtained a delay until Jan. 30 while his appeal was being considered.

He was among more than 4,400 members of the Individual Ready Reserve called back to duty even though they have completed their enlistments and are not required to attend reserve drills and meetings. All soldiers have an eight-year commitment including active duty and the ready reserve.

Susan Fitzpatrick, 25, also is a former soldier and could face a recall herself. “I am still worried, but because he won’t have to go I’m not so worried about myself,” she said.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding