Monday, May 19, 2008

Disabled vet won't have to return to military

James Raymond

A University of Buffalo communications student, who left the military in 2004 with a partial disability due to hearing loss and a knee injury and was recalled for duty in Iraq in April, won't have to return to duty, The Buffalo News reported May 19.

James Raymond sustained his injuries while serving in Afghanistan and is considered 10% disabled. His Army contract meant he had to remain a member of the Individual Readiness Reserve until 2009 in order to fulfill his eight-year obligation.

But he finally received the phone call that confirmed that he wouldn't have to go back into active duty, saying, “I got a phone call from my military case manager. He said I’ve been placed on standby reserve for a year. I asked him the question — that I only have a year left — and he said, ‘Yeah, you’re good. You won’t be going.’ ”

The disabled Army veteran said that support from the local congressional delegation and the public helped the Army see that he shouldn't be recalled for duty.

“I would go back today in a heartbeat,” Raymond said of his desire to defend the country, “but because of my injuries, I feel I’d be putting other lives in danger, and I don’t want to have to live with that the rest of my life.”