Local News

Paralyzed Reservist To Get Discharge After Three-Year Struggle

Posted November 15, 2004

— After a three-year struggle to get released from the military, a Cumberland County reservist who was paralyzed will get his wish.

After Tim Wallen notified the Army many times that he was a paraplegic, the Army now says his discharge is imminent.

Wallen had received mobilization papers several times -- most recently ordering him to report this past weekend -- even though he kept informing the Army of his medical situation.

"It was utter and total relief," said Wallen, who spent the weekend concentrating on his children and his studies instead of reporting for duty.

Three years ago, Wallen was paralyzed in an off duty accident. Since then, the military has repeatedly tried to activate the Army Reservist. The 34-year-old was so frustrated, he planned to drive his van to South Carolina to report for duty, as ordered. After a story aired on WRAL on Veterans Day, the Army called him and told him not to come.

"I don't think they would have handled it as quickly as they handled it without WRAL stepping in," Wallen said.

An Army spokesperson says Wallen never provided medical documentation of his disability. Wallen disputes that claim saying he's sent in the paperwork nearly a dozen times. Whatever the case, he says he can put the stress behind him.

"This is a small aspect, but to be able to move on with this is really good, to move on with each aspect it's just going to get better," said Wallen, who would still like a letter of apology from the Army.

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