One of the stories in the news today concerns running back Eric Kettani, of the New England Patriots, who was graduated from the United States Naval Academy and commissioned as an officer in the Navy. Lt Kettani was ordered to, and has, reported to the USS Klakring (FFG-42) for deployment. Lt Kettani requested leave, to continue with the Patriots (where he was on the practice squad, and not the 53-man roster), but the Navy denied the request.
According to NBC he did request leave in order to stay with the Patriots, but recently found out it had been denied. “As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation’s defense,” the letter from the Navy said. “As such, a release from active duty would be inconsistent with that effort.”
The newscasters on Fox & Friends were a bit surprised during a telephone interview with Lt Kettani this morning, because Lt Kettani, while certainly willing to do his duty, sounded less than gung-ho about having to leave his football career behind. After Lt Kettani hung up the phone, the anchors said that there was a Fox News e-mail question about whether Lt Kettani ought to be given leave to continue with the Patriots.
Well, I just happen to know one other reservist whose civilian plans have been altered by a military commitment. SPC Pico (that’s her, resting on the hood of the truck; click the picture to enlarge), who would be graduating from Penn State next May with her Bachelor of Science in astrophysics — not a bunny major there! — will (almost certainly) not be doing so, because her Army Reserve unit, the 476th Engineering Detachment, is supposed to be deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, with the Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa. Her unit has not officially received the deployment orders yet, and four members were detached and deployed to Afghanistan at the end of August, but the word has leaked down and her monthly drills have all been deployment preparedness.
These are the things that our citizens who enlist in the military accept as part of their duty. Lt Kettani received a free education at one of the finest colleges in the world, to prepare him to be an officer in the United States Navy, and accepted a minimum five-year military obligation along with that. SPC Pico has a six-year military obligation, for which she volunteered, and Army deployment, and its disruption of civilian life, was something she knowingly accepted. My younger daughter, PFC Pico, will probably have a deployed tour at some point, which would pull her out of York College before she is graduated, but we have absolutely no information on what, where or when yet; that’s probably a couple of years away.
I’d also note that SGT Hitchcock, who is active duty, not a reservist, has already done a tour of duty in Iraq.
Cross posted on Truth Before Dishonor