Opinions mixed about soldier's refusal to report - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Opinions mixed about soldier's refusal to report

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FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - For some, joining the military is not only a contract with the government, but a contract with honor.

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux was to report the Individual Ready Reserve last Sunday at Fort Jackson, but he refused. It's a decision that has made headlines around the world, and a decision that has sparked the opinions of many of his fellow soldiers.

Master Sgt. Gary Villanueva has been vocal about what he thinks.

"My father always taught me that a handshake was a man's honor and signing on the dotted line is equivalent to a hand shake and so if they made the commitment, I believe they should honor it and if they didn't, quite frankly I question them as a man," Villanueva said.

When it comes to a soldier who doesn't complete a military contract, Villanueva disagrees with Chiroux's choice.

"I really think that they're subject to the punishment that the military law stipulates because they signed a contract," Villanueva said.

Other reservists, like Specialist Joshua Nolze, don't agree with Chiroux's decision, but he understands.

"Up until a couple of years ago, military really never used IRR and told you when you sign a contract, don't really worry about it, you're not going to get called up," Nolze said. "Nowadays, it's a different story, different world. You're getting called up and it's something you've got to think about before you sign up."

As a soldier, you always sign at least an eight year contract. Most spend at least two of those years serving active duty with the remainder of the contract spent in some form of the reserves - mostly the IRR.

1st Sgt. Michael Reid helps to train the reservists.

"I also have mixed feelings because some of these young fellas have already been two or three times and probably don't want to go back," Reid said.

According to a spokeswoman for the National IRR, Chiroux is one of 700 soldiers who has been a no-show since 9/11.

Reported by Trey Paul

Posted by Jeremy Turnage

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