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Probe Sought Into Alleged Reenlistment Coercion

September 28, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A Colorado congresswoman wants lawmakers to investigate allegations that Iraq war veterans nearing the end of their enlistments were given a choice between reenlisting or being sent back to Iraq.

Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, in a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), asked him Monday to look into whether the "White House or civilian Pentagon officials are pressuring the military to use coercive tactics to get soldiers to reenlist."

DeGette, at a news conference in Denver, cited reports in two of the city's newspapers and calls she had received from several soldiers at Ft. Carson, near Colorado Springs.

The Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post reported that soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were told they faced reassignment to units expected to be deployed to Iraq or South Korea if they did not either reenlist by the end of the month or extend their duty until the end of 2007.

Pentagon officials referred questions to Ft. Carson, which denied any effort to coerce soldiers into reenlisting.

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