RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina mother who reported for Army duty with her two young children will be discharged from the military, her attorney said Monday.
Attorney Mark Waple of Fayetteville said it wasn't yet clear if Lisa Pagan would receive an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions. It also wasn't certain when she would be discharged.
The reason for the discharge will be that she doesn't have, and cannot have, an adequate family care for her two young children, he said.
"There is definitely some feeling of relief, especially since she has been led to believe that the command at Fort Benning is going to do everything to expedite this so she can return to Charlotte, North Carolina, with her children," Waple said of Pagan's reaction to the decision.
She has received no time line "except they are trying to process it as quickly as possible," he said.
He advised Pagan against talking to reporters until after the discharge is official.
Fort Benning spokesman Bob Purtiman could not confirm Monday whether Pagan's commanders were discharging her. He said she was being issued a uniform, undergoing medical and dental screenings and filling out paperwork like any other soldier.
"As far as her disposition, right now the case is being reviewed by the chain of command," Purtiman said. "Specific actions the chain of command are considering will not be discussed because that would violate her privacy rights."
Pagan was recalled to the Army four years after being released from active duty, which is allowed under the military's "individual ready reserve" program. But she says she had no one to care for her children.
Soldiers can appeal, and some have won permission to remain in civilian life. Pagan filed several appeals, arguing that because her husband travels for business, no one else can take care of her kids. Her appeals were rejected.
So she reported for duty Monday at Fort Benning, Ga., with her children, 4-year-old Elizabeth and 3-year-old Eric.
Earlier Monday, Fort Benning spokesman Bob Purtiman said Pagan reported to the Army post's mobilization center that prepares individual soldiers to plug into Army units already overseas or those training to deploy. He did not know how long she was scheduled to stay at Fort Benning.
He said Fort Benning has day care services available for Pagan's children while she's there.
Pagan is among thousands of former service members recalled after leaving duty since the Sept. 11 attacks because they're on "individual ready reserve" status, meaning they have time left on their original enlistment contracts and can be recalled at any time.
Master Sgt. Keith O'Donnell, an Army spokesman in St. Louis, has said that of the 25,000 individual ready reserve troops recalled since September 2001, more than 7,500 have been granted deferments or exemptions.
About 1,000 have failed to report, and most of those cases are still under investigation, he said. Another 360 soldiers have been separated from the Army either through "other than honorable" discharges or general discharges.