Autistic kid released from Army contract
Jared Guinther and his father Paul Guinther
in the living room of their house in Portland,
Ore., on April 30, 2006.
Army Releases Autistic Teen
Parents Say Army Ignored Their Complaints Until Newspaper Article
PORTLAND, Ore., May 12, 2006
(CBS/AP) An 18-year-old Portland man with autism, whose recruitment renewed questions about Army practices, was released Tuesday from his enlistment contract.
Jared Guinther signed up for one of the Army's most dangerous jobs, cavalry scout, after being heavily recruited. He passed medical and other examinations. He was scheduled to leave for basic training in August.
The Army announced Tuesday that it decided he didn't meet enrollment criteria, two days after The Oregonian newspaper reported his parents' objections.
Gaylan Johnson, spokesman for the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, said Guinther's disability was not disclosed in the medical exam and information regarding his condition was not available to the command until after the enrollment process was complete. The command oversees medical exams for the Army.
Guinther started talking about joining the military after a recruiter stopped him and offered him a $4,000 signing bonus and $67,000 for college, his parents say. His parents said he didn't know there was a war in Iraq until last fall, shortly after he spoke with a recruiter, and asked them about it.
"To place someone in his condition in a combat role would create a wholly inappropriate and unnecessary risk of harm – not only to him, but all other members of his unit who would have to rely on him," Blumenauer wrote in his letter to the Pentagon.
Blumenauer believes this is only one example of recruiting problems and wants the military to launch a broad investigation.
posted by Steve @ 8:27:00 PM