San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
Email Email | Print Print --

October 15th, 2008
Jude Prather’s Blog: ‘Time to start serving those who have served’

GUEST COMMENTARY by JUDE PRATHER

Months after losing a very close city council election by three votes, I learned that I had been involuntary recalled by the Army to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

It happened (the recall) during finals last spring when my wife came into the house crying with a large envelope packet from the Army. I knew then that I was recalled back into the Army. The packet contained orders under the National Emergency declared by Presidential Proclamation 7463, which gives the Army the authority to recall soldiers from inactive status in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR) to active status in the U.S. Military.

When soldiers finish their active duty time in the military they are discharged into the IRR to serve the remainder of their eight-year obligation. Dubbed as the “back door draft”, IRR recalls and “stop loss” orders have become a much needed method the Army is using to fill unit ranks while fighting the Global War on Terror.

According to The Army Times, the Army began recalling IRR soldiers as early as 2004. Since Sept. 11, 2001, almost 16,000 mobilization orders have been issued for IRR soldiers, and more than 7,600 have reported for duty. Of the 7,600, more than 2,200 were deemed non-deployable. The Army also issued almost 7,500 delays or exemptions. I was not happy about the recall but I knew that I was not the only one in this situation.

I am however proud to serve my nation along with the famed Japanese American unit of WW2 and one of the military’s most decorated units the 100th Battalion 442nd Infantry Regiment.  Many of the soldiers in my unit were recalled back into the Army after being out for years. So I began to help the recalled soldiers in my unit start a letter writing campaign to make Congress aware of our situation and ask them to include recalled soldiers in HR 6205 “The Stop Loss Compensation Act.”

I wish more people were aware of soldiers being recalled back into the Army. The last seven years of war have proved to be the most demanding on our military and their families. It is time that we start to serve those who have served.

As for right now I am looking forward to my four day pass beginning on Oct 22 before I deploy. I am also going to be heading straight to the voting booth at Texas State LBJ Student Center after my units going away ceremony at Ft. Hood on Oct 22 to vote. As soldiers we defend democracy so it is important that we participate in it. Other stories of my recall can be found at http://www.sanmarcosmercury.com/2008/05/prather-headed-to-iraq-for-army-tour/

Email Email | Print Print

--

20 thoughts on “Jude Prather’s Blog: ‘Time to start serving those who have served’

  1. So Jude I’m confused. Are you proud to serve your country or are you pissed that you were recalled to serve your country?

  2. Seems like a no-brainer. Section 1 of the bill identifies it as providing “MONTHLY SPECIAL PAY FOR MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WHOSE SERVICE ON ACTIVE DUTY IS EXTENDED BY A STOP-LOSS ORDER OR SIMILAR MECHANISM.”

    If you are called back to active duty from IRR, that sounds like your active duty was extended, to me.

    Is there a letter for the rest of us to sign?

  3. Anonymous,

    Why are you confused? Do you think Mr. Prather is contradicting himself? What kind of life must one have led to never have been proud to have done something, yet he would rather not go through it again? Lots of life is like that, military service being a very extreme example both ways. Is that too hard for you?

  4. I can assure you that no soldier would be happy about being recalled into the Army after being out for three years. No one enjoys separating from their family. My husband has no regrets. He is proud to serve his country. However, he serves to represent the many recalled soldiers he has met in the past few months who have voiced their concerns on this issue. So lets support our troops.

    FYI: Recalled soldiers are NOT included in the Stop Loss Comensation Act.

  5. First let me preface this by saying that I appreciate that you are willing to serve our fine country. Thanks you!

    I am a little confused though. With no disrespect implied or intended…you said you were called back to fulfill the remainder of your 8 year committment. Can you elaborat on that for someone who does not have any experience with the militarty? It seems that if you had an 8 year committment, then you should be prepared to work for the army for 8 years. If you worked for less then 8 years and they are calling you back to finish off the 8 years then I really do not understand the issue. I am sure all Army personnell are aware that they are signing up for a certain time frame committment. Like I said, please don’t take this as criticism. I would just like to know more about the issue. Once again, thank you for your service to this wonderful country!

  6. Kathy,

    I’m not sure if the FYI was for me, but I understood they are not included. My point was that they ought to be. It is a no-brainer.

    Is there a letter circulating for ordinary citizens to sign?

  7. I do not have any military background either but I am ashamed that someone is so rude to send a nasty comment to our proud soldier Jude and not have the guts to sign their name. Shame on you Anon. I have never sent a comment on one of these stories, never blogged, but am outraged by Anon comment. I do not think anyone should be REQUIRED to do more than one mission in combat no matter how long they are in the service. Thanks Jude ~ love and prayers to you!

  8. Curtis,

    All young men at the age of 18 serve an eight year commitment. They are legally bound to register for the Inactive Ready Reserve. That may be part of the commitment Jude is referencing. When I left the ARMY I still had a few years on my commitment as well. I am not sure how old you are but this requirement has been in place since at least 1987.

    Jude,

    I grew up in San Marcos but we have never met. My father served, I served and my son currently serves as an ARMY Medic. I pray that you return to continue to serve the community in some fashion after your honorable service in the US ARMY. GOD Bless

  9. Hey Prather,

    If you’d spend your time cleaning your gun instead of running your mouth, you might amount to something. With communists like you in the army, it’s no wonder we’re losing the war.

  10. As Jude’s mother, my question to Mr Falwell is-When did you serve in any of the various branches of the military? IF more Americans would enlist then stop-loss and recalls would not be necessary. Many of the men/women in the unit Jude is stationed with are not citizens but nationals and therefore are unable to vote in the Presidental elections. Which is why he is so concerned about this issue for his unit. Keep all the men and women who did enlist in the various branches of the military in your prayers.

  11. Rush Falwell:
    If you’d spend more time outside mom and dad’s house rather than running your mouth about things you have completely no clue about, you might understand the arguement. With naive imbiciles such as yourself being leaches on society, it’s no wonder we’re losing the war on the home front. Which branch did you serve under? Call of Duty 4 doesn’t count. Also, you have a stupid name.

    I was recalled and placed in the same platoon as Jude so I have a 100% crystal clear spectrum of what’s going on. Let me spell it out for you: Stop-loss is when a soldier is forced to serve actively past the end of their term of service. Currently, stop-lossed soldiers recieve extra pay during the period of extension. IRR soldiers, however, whom are forced to serve actively past their term of enlistment do not. Note, term of enlistment differs from full service obligation. We’re not stupid, we know that we are obligated to serve our initial term of service and then what ever is left of eight total years will be served in inactive status.

    Now then, if you still don’t understand, do us all a favor and just crawl back under which ever rock you came from. I fight every damn day so that jack asses such as yourself can spout this kind of BS.

  12. Thank you, Jude. I know I speak for the majority of this community when I say that I am sorry for some of the comments on this site. It

    We are so proud of you – and grateful that you and others continue to serve with strength and bravery. We look forward to your safe return. Count on us to support you again in your next political effort. Until then, be safe.

    And thank you, Kathy and Ann.

    God Bless You, Jude.

  13. Mr Anon and Mr Falwell where were you when my son was brought back to his barracks with blood leaching through the bandages over his face after having his face burned off to fix deep pock marks caused in basic training. Where were you when I brought him back 3 days later for a follow up visit with the doctor when someone from the platoon forming below the walkway around his barracks shouted “Man that MF is burnt up”. Where where you when his Sargent (now deceased-IED)and battle buddy came into his hooch to get some items from his body armor so you could see his blood all over it. Seems they had tried to start and IV in him because of contamined water but he refused a Medivac so he wouldn’t be called a “sick call Ranger” on manuevers. I have seen his blood, pain aand desire to serve his country. You don’t know my son but I do because I’m his Dad. Now take a good look in the mirror, how can you judge another American you don’t know.

  14. I forget who asked, “but what can we do at the city level to help vets?”

    FYI: Recalled soldiers are NOT included in the Stop Loss Comensation Act.

    Write your federal and state politicians and have Recalled Soldiers included in the Stop Loss Compensation Act!

  15. I know and we wrote every sponsor of that bill plus all of our hometown reps with no luck. Look around at what others cities are doing for their Vets and you will start to feel ashamed that we have done so little, after so many years of war and our town lost citizens over there. Anybody reading this email me at judeprather@yahoo.com and I can catch you up to speed with everything.

  16. It is time to mount another campaign to get these corporate political slugs to LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY! Jude, I will start a petition in San Marcos, then town by town, county by county, to get your brothers and sisters @ arms to be included in the SLCA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:)