Reservist Tries to Stop Fifth Deployment

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weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (July 14) - Army Reserve Sgt. Erik Botta has been sent to Iraq three times and to Afghanistan once. He thinks that's enough.

Botta wants a court to block the military's plan to deploy him for a fifth time Sunday, most likely to Iraq. He isn't against the war - but he thinks he can serve his country better now by working for a defense contractor and pursuing his education.


"This has nothing to do with protest of the war ... I have nothing but respect for the people on the ground," Botta said Friday, one day after he filed his petition in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach. "But I feel I do need a fair decision and a fair review."

Botta , 26, of Port St. Lucie, contends in his petition that the Army's refusal to exempt him from deployment "constitutes unlawful custody." Botta argues the Army did not consider the length and nature of his previous tours "to assure a sharing of exposure to the hazards of combat."

He was granted an initial exemption last year, allowing him to pursue an electrical engineering degree at Palm Beach Community College and work as a senior technician on Blackhawk and Seahawk helicopters at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. But now his exemption has been denied.

Botta said he was shocked when he received notice of his latest deployment orders.

"My heart sank through the floor," he said. "I've sacrificed all my time into this new life I have now."

Botta enlisted in the Army Reserves in October 2000. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he requested transfer to active duty, which was granted the next month, according to the petition.

Botta was deployed to Afghanistan for about seven months in 2002. He then had three deployments to Iraq - about a month in 2003, three months in 2004 and 15 days later that year.

Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment. She also noted that Botta was under an eight-year service contract.

"The Army leadership acknowledges the hardships and sacrifices of our soldiers and their families and is aggressively pursuing means to lessen their strain," Phillips wrote in an e-mail Friday. "We evaluate each request for deferment or exemption from mobilization independently to determine if a deployment will cause undue hardship for the soldier or the family."

She said that out of 649 deployment delays requested by soldiers since the start of the Afghan war in 2001, the Army has granted 561 or 87 percent. Of the 5,708 exemptions that have been requested, 2,983 or 54 percent have been granted.

Botta 's previous deployments in Iraq were as a communications specialist with the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and were shorter than most tours because they were "emergency deployments," said his attorney, Mark Waple.

After his release from active duty on Oct. 30, 2004, Botta has not been required to participate in any training, he said.

Botta now wants a federal judge to stop his deployment. If a resolution is not reached, he said he will follow orders and deploy Sunday to Fort Jackson near Columbia, S.C.

Waple said the Army's decision to redeploy Botta and to deny his request for exemption is arbitrary and goes against actions in similar cases where academic exemptions were granted.

"We're just concerned that they're granting these exemptions in some cases and denying them in others without any real meaningful methodology in making that decision," Waple said.

Waple also noted that Congress requires the Defense Department to "take into consideration the reservist's prior military service to be certain that there is uniform exposure among reservists to the hazards of combat and the Department of the Army has failed to do that in Sgt. Botta 's case."

There was no immediate word as to when the court would take up the case.
 

Mommadeez4u

Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Mar 26, 2005
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#2
what a disgrace. what a disgusting traitorous PIG to defy his COMMANDER IN CHIEF. He should be shot like all the other Haji loving scumbags out there.
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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#3
This is a tough one. On one hand when you sign up for the military it is assumed you know exactly what you are getting into. So while this seems like being asked a lot, you had to understand that this was a possibility.

But on the other hand, five times? That sounds like a lot to me. Is this common for reservists? Because it seems to me this guy has done more than his fair share of protecting our freedoms.

I'm interested in hearing other opinions, especially from the more conservative posters.
 

Buster H

Alt-F4
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Dec 6, 2004
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#4
I'm interested in hearing other opinions, especially from the more conservative posters.
I think the guy is going about it the right way. He says that if the judge reviews it and does not block the deployment, he will go. It sounds like he's gotten a great deal of benefit out of being in the military and might not have realized how much things can change in 8 years. The only thing I find kinda BS is that he's stating he has been deployed 5 times. Yeah, he has, but if you look at the cumulative time, I think he's probabaly got less than many others.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#5
Botta was deployed to Afghanistan for about seven months in 2002. He then had three deployments to Iraq - about a month in 2003, three months in 2004 and 15 days later that year.

Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment. She also noted that Botta was under an eight-year service contract.

He hasn't even done the time of one full deployment yet. I bet he didn't even get used to the time change in his 15 day deployment.
 

thelord68

There's always time for lubricant
Feb 24, 2003
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#6
I had read this story as well, but from a different source. which gave me the impression that his total deployment time was significantly higher. I felt really bad for the guy.

This article seems much more detailed. It doesn't seem like they are egregiously deploying him.
 

Budyzir

There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Nov 12, 2004
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#7
..... times. Yeah, he has, but if you look at the cumulative time, I think he's probabaly got less than many others.
.... He hasn't even done the time of one full deployment yet. I bet he didn't even get used to the time change in his 15 day deployment.
Ok, so I'm a relatively conservative poster and former military and if I was to rule, it would be against Sgt Botta. There are service members, both active and reservists, who have done multiple longterm deployments.

Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment. She also noted that Botta was under an eight-year service contract.
Based on the spokeswoman's statement, the military has some kind of metric in place to gage deployment times and the impact it has on service members. Sgt Botta simply has not met the metric.

Based on the length of his deployments, I'm guessing he is some kind expert in something and they call him in when they really need his specialty.
 
Jul 13, 2006
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#8
One of you guys said he must be some sort of specialist. It says that he's a communication specialist that was sent out on emergency deployments.


At least this guy isn't a fucking pussy like that dude from the boogie down Bronx. He paid a guy to shoot him in order to get out of his second deployment.


"CBS) NEW YORK The death and destruction of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq seems to have become so rampant to one local soldier that he actually staged an attack on himself -- allegedly hiring a hitman to non-fatally shoot him -- so he wouldn't be sent back for another tour of duty.

Now, 20-year-old Jonathan Aponte is under fire at home in the Bronx for his decision that may send him to prison.

"There are some people mentally that can handle it. There are some people who just can't. You need to know when to say enough is enough," Aponte told CBS 2 HD exclusively Friday.

For Aponte, that day was Monday, the very day he was supposed to go back for another tour of duty to serve ten months on the front lines. He admits to CBS 2, however, that he couldn't face another tour of drama and devastation.

"Bullets being shot at me, almost being hit, with car bombs, burning flesh," Aponte recalls of his first tour. Now the soldier, his mother, and lawyer all say his plot for pain proves he's a victim of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrific memories of battle.

Digg This Story!

The proof, they say, is the bullet wound he helped give himself after feelings he described as "desperate."

Aponte's lawyer wouldn't let him talk about the event that's brought criminal charges, but a statement of his in court records bring his confession to light:

"I jokingly said that I should get shot in the leg ... so that it can buy me some extra time away from Iraq," he said.

After his new wife text messaged a hitman who would do the job, Aponte admits, "I asked him what was a good price. He told me $500 would be fine."

The shooting was set to happen under a bridge on Gunhill Road on the very day of the redeployment.

"I decided I wasn't going to go back one way or another," he said.

When Aponte arrived at the appointed time, he smoked a cigarette then closed his eyes because he didn't want to see it coming, he told police. The next thing he knew, he had a gunshot wound to his right knee.

"He was asking for help, but we didn't know what he was asking for. We didn't understand," said Gwen Aponte, his mother.

Now Aponte's mother, father, and lawyer all say a doctor diagnosed him with post traumatic stress disorder, and that's why he should be counseled, not incarcerated.

"If he's ill, he needs to get help," said Martin Goldberg, Aponte's lawyer. "He is as much a casualty of the war as someone struck by a bullet."

Aponte says the pain and potential of prison are a better option than another dose of duty. "There are risks in prison, but as far as getting shot at everyday, I think it's better," he said. "Mentally, I can't do it anymore. I can't handle it anymore."

Both Aponte and his wife are facing charges of conspiracy and filing a false report. The soldier's lawyer says the military will soon evaluate his client and either say he's fit for duty and send him back to Iraq, provide counseling if needed and then send him back, or give him some kind of discharge."
 

Larz

****Self-Banned****
It's My Birthday!
Feb 12, 2006
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#9
One of the great things about this country is that no one can force you into military service and you'll never be judged for not having served.

Its inexcusable to try and weasel out of a voluntary military committment.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
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#10
He was scared to get shot at, so he paid a guy to shoot him?

Brilliant.
 

Deadbent

You can go fuck.
Aug 19, 2005
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#11
Hate to say it, but this guy's a dipshit.
You really should understand that you won't be owning your life, or controling the decisions in it once you sign up, and until you're out.

He requested active duty out of post-9/11 patriotism, doesn't want to hold his end of the agreement, and now he wants to do something else instead.
That's all I see from this.

He's a bitch.
 

Creampier

I have to return some videotapes!
May 11, 2007
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#12
This dude's served 10 more months than I'll ever serve. I can't call this dude out, even though it sounds fishy.
 

Budyzir

There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Nov 12, 2004
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#13
One of you guys said he must be some sort of specialist. It says that he's a communication specialist that was sent out on emergency deployments.
Yup, that was me, thank you for the additional info.


At least this guy isn't a fucking pussy like that dude from the boogie down Bronx. He paid a guy to shoot him in order to get out of his second deployment.


"CBS) NEW YORK The death and destruction of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq seems to have become so rampant to one local soldier that he actually staged an attack on himself -- allegedly hiring a hitman to non-fatally shoot him -- so he wouldn't be sent back for another tour of duty.

Now, 20-year-old Jonathan Aponte is under fire at home in the Bronx for his decision that may send him to prison.

"There are some people mentally that can handle it. There are some people who just can't. You need to know when to say enough is enough," Aponte told CBS 2 HD exclusively Friday.

For Aponte, that day was Monday, the very day he was supposed to go back for another tour of duty to serve ten months on the front lines. He admits to CBS 2, however, that he couldn't face another tour of drama and devastation.

"Bullets being shot at me, almost being hit, with car bombs, burning flesh," Aponte recalls of his first tour. Now the soldier, his mother, and lawyer all say his plot for pain proves he's a victim of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrific memories of battle.

Digg This Story!

The proof, they say, is the bullet wound he helped give himself after feelings he described as "desperate."

Aponte's lawyer wouldn't let him talk about the event that's brought criminal charges, but a statement of his in court records bring his confession to light:

"I jokingly said that I should get shot in the leg ... so that it can buy me some extra time away from Iraq," he said.

After his new wife text messaged a hitman who would do the job, Aponte admits, "I asked him what was a good price. He told me $500 would be fine."

The shooting was set to happen under a bridge on Gunhill Road on the very day of the redeployment.

"I decided I wasn't going to go back one way or another," he said.

When Aponte arrived at the appointed time, he smoked a cigarette then closed his eyes because he didn't want to see it coming, he told police. The next thing he knew, he had a gunshot wound to his right knee.

"He was asking for help, but we didn't know what he was asking for. We didn't understand," said Gwen Aponte, his mother.

Now Aponte's mother, father, and lawyer all say a doctor diagnosed him with post traumatic stress disorder, and that's why he should be counseled, not incarcerated.

"If he's ill, he needs to get help," said Martin Goldberg, Aponte's lawyer. "He is as much a casualty of the war as someone struck by a bullet."

Aponte says the pain and potential of prison are a better option than another dose of duty. "There are risks in prison, but as far as getting shot at everyday, I think it's better," he said. "Mentally, I can't do it anymore. I can't handle it anymore."

Both Aponte and his wife are facing charges of conspiracy and filing a false report. The soldier's lawyer says the military will soon evaluate his client and either say he's fit for duty and send him back to Iraq, provide counseling if needed and then send him back, or give him some kind of discharge."
You make a contract to defend your nation and what you believe in you need to live up to your end. No debate here, you gave your word under oath. None of us who has ever raised their hand and taken that oath knew what was coming. In a sense we threw the dice and waited to see where how they rolled and, the majority of us did our duty.

One of the great things about this country is that no one can force you into military service and you'll never be judged for not having served.

Its inexcusable to try and weasel out of a voluntary military committment.
Exactly, you join the military, you are trained to fight, on the land, at sea or in the air. While your actions may save people, your basic instinct is to fight. If you want to save life, don't carry a gun but become a paramedic or something.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#14
he hasnt served his time, fuck him, pack your bags buddy you still owe me at least 3 months,
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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I don't think this is as cut-and-dried as some of you.

First, I respect the hell out of this guy for serving.

My read on this is that the dude is just frustrated as hell with these mini-deployments. No, 15 days in the sandbox isn't much compared to guys who have been there for multiple deployments, but it does mean that the semester of college that he might have been attending at that time was just flushed down the toilet.

He's getting 6 months or even entire years of his life fucked up for the sake of a 2 week deployment. It's a shitty use of his time, it's a shitty use of the military's money (since they're the ones sending him off to college).

That said, I think he should suck it up and deal with it. The Big Green Machine does a lot of bullshit things to its troops because, first and foremost, it's job is to protect the rights of American citizens. And it does that by, usually, fucking up the rights of the men and women who protect American citizens.

I get the feeling that dude understands this: he's just frustrated with the mini-deployments.
 
Aug 27, 2002
1,060
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Philly
#16
I don't think this is as cut-and-dried as some of you.

First, I respect the hell out of this guy for serving.

My read on this is that the dude is just frustrated as hell with these mini-deployments. No, 15 days in the sandbox isn't much compared to guys who have been there for multiple deployments, but it does mean that the semester of college that he might have been attending at that time was just flushed down the toilet.

He's getting 6 months or even entire years of his life fucked up for the sake of a 2 week deployment. It's a shitty use of his time, it's a shitty use of the military's money (since they're the ones sending him off to college).

That said, I think he should suck it up and deal with it. The Big Green Machine does a lot of bullshit things to its troops because, first and foremost, it's job is to protect the rights of American citizens. And it does that by, usually, fucking up the rights of the men and women who protect American citizens.

I get the feeling that dude understands this: he's just frustrated with the mini-deployments.
:clap::clap::clap:
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#17
if you sign up for the military you agree to there bullshit and thats that
 
Dec 18, 2005
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Huntington, New York
#18
Botta enlisted in the Army Reserves in October 2000. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, he requested transfer to active duty, which was granted the next month, according to the petition.
Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment. She also noted that Botta was under an eight-year service contract.

"The Army leadership acknowledges the hardships and sacrifices of our soldiers and their families and is aggressively pursuing means to lessen their strain," Phillips wrote in an e-mail Friday. "We evaluate each request for deferment or exemption from mobilization independently to determine if a deployment will cause undue hardship for the soldier or the family."
Seems like a concious choice was made here, now he's going back on the deal, and while the war has not followed through the way it was promised, he still has an obligation.
 

Turtle

WACKBAGGER
Jun 8, 2005
8,863
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#19
This is bullshit, the guy is in the Army, he recieved a lawful order and he must follow it. Now report to your dutystation asshole. The End.
 
#20
I agree this guy has an obligation. You'll get no argument from me on that. It sucks, but that's life. And why you won't see me join the armed forces anytime soon. Although I served my country in other ways.

One thing I will say though. Please stop with the "protecting our country" stuff. I know it's pretty much second nature to use such phrases. But nothing going over there in Iraq is "protecting" our nation. If you want to protect this country, bring them home and put them on the borders or something.
 

Sct Ptersns Twn

Looking 4 a New 1st Mate
Dec 4, 2005
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#21
sorry bout your luck pal, take your 6th free flight to hell.

Don't forget you asked for ya dumb shit. No one said it was going to be a 1 year war.



Wait, someone said something about something, right?
 

Fr. Dougal

Registered User
Feb 17, 2004
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#22
I was totally on his side... until I read this part:

Botta was deployed to Afghanistan for about seven months in 2002. He then had three deployments to Iraq - about a month in 2003, three months in 2004 and 15 days later that year.

Army spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Phillips noted that Army Reserve units deploy for 12 consecutive months, and that Botta had only accumulated about 10 nonconsecutive months of deployment.
He should serve the exact same amount as any other reservist. Yeah, they're sending him 5 times. But once for just 15 days? Hell... If a tour lasted only 15 days, I would absolutely take my chances and go serve over there for 15 days.
 

Vyce

Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
Feb 11, 2006
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#23
One thing I will say though. Please stop with the "protecting our country" stuff. I know it's pretty much second nature to use such phrases. But nothing going over there in Iraq is "protecting" our nation. If you want to protect this country, bring them home and put them on the borders or something.
Considering that the center of Al-Qaeda activities seems to be contained in the insurgency of Iraq, one could make a very real argument that Iraq is protecting us, by centering the war against Islam in that country.

Because whether people like to acknowledge that or not, that's the war we're in.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#24
One thing I will say though. Please stop with the "protecting our country" stuff. I know it's pretty much second nature to use such phrases. But nothing going over there in Iraq is "protecting" our nation. If you want to protect this country, bring them home and put them on the borders or something.
Has anybody ever explained the concept "strategic offense, tactical defense" to you?
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#25
sorry bout your luck pal, take your 6th free flight to hell.

Don't forget you asked for ya dumb shit. No one said it was going to be a 1 year war.



Wait, someone said something about something, right?
Mission doesn't mean war.

The "mission" of D-Day in WWII, begun June 6th, 1944, was to take Normandy. That "mission" was "accomplished" Aug. 19th, 1944. War in Europe didn't end until early May, 1945.

The mission on that banner, everyone knew, was referring to getting rid of Saddam's regime. You know how I know that everyone knew? Because immediately afterwards, all the anti-war people started calling for the troops to come home, and the pro-war people (including some who now post that banner when they seem to have forgotten what they knew then) told them to fuck off.

It's not new news. From day one we've been told that this is going to be a generational war, and it is. We clean up Iraq, those morons get their house in order, and we get everything we want out of them, we're STILL a generation away from getting this war on Islamofascism over with.

Iraq, at BEST, is only the first or second step on a long, long walk to getting rid of the danger of crazy Muslims trying to hurt Americans. Get that through your head and deal with it.

As uncool and unhip as "stay the course" sounds, the fact of the matter is that it's exactly what's called for, here. In the history of mankind, NO purely guerrilla war has defeated a strong conventionally armed force unless the conventionally armed force decided to simply surrender. NONE. We CHOOSE to win, and we will win. We CHOOSE to run like little bitches, and we'll lose. It's that damned simple.

The fucking Arabs haven't won a war against non-Arabs since the days of Saladin. That's 1200 fucking years. I'll be damned if some chicken-shit Dimmies are going to be why we're the ones to end that fucking streak for the camel fuckers.
 
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