Local News

Local Reservist May Sue Army After Call To Active Duty

Posted July 7, 2004

— Troop rotations for Iraq and Afghanistan were on the front lines of discussion Wednesday in Washington.

The House Armed Services Committee discussed the recent mobilization of the Army's Individual Ready Reserve. The reserve is made up of retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve.

Lawmakers on both sides said they were concerned about the growing stress on the armed forces.

The issue hit close to home for a Cary man. Todd Parrish got called up to active duty, but said he will not go.

Parrish said he completed his obligation to the Army last year. If he said the military does not reconsider its order, he will take his case to federal court.

Parrish served eight years in the Army, four on active duty and four in the Reserves. He then got his honorable discharge and left the service.

"Everything was going really well, and then the order came on May 22," he said.

Five months after trading in fatigues for civilian clothes, Parrish got a letter ordering him to report to Fort Sill, Okla.

"I thought it was a mistake," he said. "I thought it was a mistake."

Parrish said he called the Army and that the Army agreed he finished active duty. But Army officials also said Parrish never officially resigned from the Reserves.

The Army told him he was theirs until 2024, when Parrish will be 51 years old.

Parrish hired Fayetteville attorney Mark Waple. Waple said the Army breached its contract with Parrish and violated his constitutional rights.

"He agreed to give them eight years," Waple said. "Uncle Sam agreed to pay for three years of his college at North Carolina State University. Uncle Sam met its obligation under the contract. Mr. Parrish met his obligation under the contract."

Now, Parrish has a wife, a house, and a civilian job.

"The part that bothers me the most is I didn't know my wife when I made the commitment originally," Parrish said. "But, yet, my wife now and I make decisions based upon my commitment being completed."

Parrish said he would serve the country again; it just was not part of the deal.

Army officials did not return calls from WRAL. Parrish had given them until Wednesday to change their minds.

After that, he plans to file a lawsuit in federal court.


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