Magazine article In These Times


Magazine article In These Times


Article excerpt

Stop (and Go) Loss

The article entitled "Putting a Stop to Stop Loss" (May 2009) is misleading. As a veteran, activist and proud member of Iraq Veterans Against the War who works with active duty soldiers on issues like stop-loss, I can attest to the fact that the army has not ended stop-loss. Ever since the Obama administration announced it was ending stop-loss we have seen an increased number of soldiers who are facing stop-loss. Some commanders conveniently lose paperwork to keep soldiers in service longer, and others are using the threat of stop-loss to coerce soldiers into re-enlisting.

The military has been calling massive numbers of veterans back into service through the Individual Ready Reserves. We have already seen one of the largest call-ups ever and we anticipate more in the near future. It is important for veterans to know that if they refuse orders to return to active duty, their veterans' benefits will not be affected. While the military may make threats against veterans who refuse, they have no power to do so. As with most of Obama's "change,' " this announcement was nothing more than aesthetics. There is a huge disconnect between the public and the military community. The public believes that the war in Iraq is over, while soldiers who are being deployed in huge numbers know the truth. The public believes that stop-loss has ended, but soldiers and their families know better.

Seth Manzel

Lakewood, Wash.

'Douchebag' denied

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