March 3, 2009 in Nation/World

Attorney says mom will be discharged from Army

Martha Waggoner Associated Press
 

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina mother who reported for Army duty with her two young children will be discharged from the military, her attorney said Monday.

Attorney Mark Waple, of Fayetteville, said it wasn’t yet clear if Lisa Pagan would receive an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions. It also wasn’t certain when she would be discharged.

The reason for the discharge will be that she doesn’t have, and cannot have, adequate family care for her two young children, he said.

“There is definitely some feeling of relief, especially since she has been led to believe that the command at Fort Benning is going to do everything to expedite this so she can return to Charlotte, North Carolina, with her children,” Waple said of Pagan’s reaction to the decision.

She has received no time line “except they are trying to process it as quickly as possible,” he said.

Fort Benning spokesman Bob Purtiman could not confirm Monday whether Pagan’s commanders were discharging her. He said she was being issued a uniform, undergoing medical and dental screenings and filling out paperwork like any other soldier.

Pagan was recalled to the Army four years after being released from active duty, which is allowed under the military’s “individual ready reserve” program. But she says she had no one to care for her children.

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. Her appeals were rejected.

So she reported for duty Monday at Fort Benning with her children, 4-year-old Elizabeth and 3-year-old Eric.

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