NEW YORK – With U.S. soldiers serving extended missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is tapping its more rusty forces for help. But some Individual Ready Reserve (search) soldiers — many of whom haven't touched a weapon in years — are crying foul at the call-up.
"I thought it was very unlikely that I would be called back," said one IRR soldier now training at Fort Jackson, S.C. (search).
But IRR soldiers receive points toward retirement and are contractually bound to serve if needed — which is uncommon, but it happened during the first Gulf War in 1991.
"It is sort of difficult, but you still have to honor your commitment and you still have to be here," said another soldier.
For Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Army is meeting resistance from as many as one in four of the nearly 5,000 IRR soldiers who have completed their enlistments but were called back to duty.
In some cases, it's a matter of outdated addresses and other paperwork. Other soldiers have medical problems or pressing family commitments, which the Army takes into consideration. But some veterans insist they've already fulfilled they military duties and are being called back unfairly.
One such soldier is Todd Parish, who served as a lieutenant and claims he fulfilled his commitment in 2003. The Army disputes that claim, insisting that Parish, who is suing the Army, failed to submit the proper paperwork to resign and is still eligible to be called back to active duty.
"I met the requirements of resignation, I did my eight years. I would have gladly gone before then, but at some point, every person volunteers and they should also have the right to de-volunteer themselves if they choose to go ahead and be a private citizen once again," Parish told FOX News.
Many of the IRR soldiers going back see their service as fulfilling a commitment they made years ago. But for those soldiers who believe they are being called back unfairly, the Army is simply resorting to a backdoor draft.
Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' Jonathan Serrie.