Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Soldier medically unfit for fifth deployment

Soldier who fought fifth deployment to war deemed medically unfit
Lawyer says soldier wants honorable discharge and release from IRR
By Lisa Burgess
Stars and Stripes Mideast edition
August 16, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Florida reservist who asked federal courts to block the Army from sending him to Iraq on a fifth deployment was excused from active service after being found medically unfit. He is still seeking an honorable discharge to prevent another call-up, according to his lawyer.

“Now we’re working to put the icing on the cake and get him out of the IRR,” or Individual Ready Reserve, Fayetteville, N.C.-based attorney Mark Waple said.

Sgt. Erik Botta, 26, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., won’t be finished with his eight-year obligation until October 2008, so he is asking for the discharge to ensure he will not get another call-up to Iraq, Waple said.

Chances of that happening are slim, Waple said.

“I think there’s one chance in 1,000 that he’d get mobilized,” Waple said. “I don’t think any Human Resource Command [official] would dare do that.”
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