Dear Mr. Gall,
This letter is regarding your remarks in a recent Stars and Stripes article about the IRR, “Army mustering IRR members, reinvigorating force”. The article in itself is nothing surprising – the Army had no handle on its IRR system, more than half the recalls didn’t show, yadda yadda I’ve been bitching about those same things for over a year now. However, at the end of the article you are quoted as saying something that turned my face red and caused everyone in my section to laugh at the size of the vein in my forehead as it swelled to abnormally large status.
But to ensure fewer unpleasant surprises in future mobilizations — like call-ups
of dead IRR members — Army officials plan to physically muster no more than 20
percent of “their smiling little faces” each year, Gall said.
I guess it’s funny though to you though, that we aren’t smiling and how angry we are. I guess it’s funny that despite years of honorable service, we were called up and treated like second class citizens for over a year. Yes, we are the dreaded IRR, and despite having a lifetime more experience than most of the people who thumb their noses at us, we’re still treated like second thoughts.
I guess it’s funny that we left families, school, jobs, homes; we left these things unfinished, we lost out on promotions, we put everything on hold. We tried to start a new life for ourselves, and despite being rudely interrupted, we answered the recall – we understand our obligation and we honored it.