Dusty got news...

Papa Art your words have come true...The mountain has been moved.


When Dusty got denied re enlistment I asked him if he wanted me to write a letter, he said yes. One more try.So I did I will post it after this..its a little winded,So anyway we were in Kentucky seeing Taylor off before he deploys and we get home and there is a message from Dustys recruiter. There was some type of technical error in his submission, the word no impairment was not clear it left off the no in the sentence...They had resubmitted it and he is approved. So in the 48 hours I have been home life has changed some... He has already been to MEPS and will be leaving May 23. Now here is what I think happened . I wrote letters to many of the brass and got a letter from the Vice President who stated he had forwarded my letter to the Dept of Defense ( I had already done so myself) and all of a sudden there was the glitch.... whatever it was the mountain has been moved. Now all I have to do is learn to be without both of my boys... I am so grateful I have friends here to turn to when the going may get rough. Please keep my boys in your prayers... Oh and Tony look out 2 Screamin Eagles...Kentucky will not be the same. That was the one thing Dusty was adament about having Ft Campbell as his PDS, with the little one.. Love ya all Cindy


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Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Preston



Subject: Re-enlistment denied Dustin ****



March 22, 2005



Dear Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Preston




I write in reference to my son Dustin . In order to outline all I need to discuss with you, I must go back in time to Sept. 11, 2001. As you know, on this day our country suffered a tragedy beyond comprehension. On Sept. 13, 2001, eager to serve his country, my son Dustin enlisted in the United States Army, specifying Special Forces. Because he had prior surgeries on both knees he had to get a waiver in order to enlist in the Army. Waiver in hand, he was accepted for enlistment in the United States Army and entered Basic training at Ft Benning, GA Nov.1, 2001.


Dustin completed Basic training and went on to Branch training. In week 12 of his training, Dustin misstepped into a rut during a road march and was sent to the infirmary with a swollen knee. It is to be noted the infirmary did not perform any X-rays or diagnostic tests, they merely looked at his medical records and sent him home without examination of any kind, advising him to take an EPTS (Existed Prior To Service) Discharge.


Dustin was told if he took an EPTS Discharge it would be better for him if he ever wanted to re-enlist. If he took an ELS Discharge (An Entry Level Separation (ELS) with an uncharacterized discharge may be granted to a service member who has less than 180 days of active service and whose record warrants an Honorable or General discharge) he was told it would be looked on as unfavorable for re-enlisting. He took the advice given by the Medical Officer and accepted the EPTS Discharge.


Trusting the word of a Medical Officer at Fort Benning was his first mistake: After accepting an EPTS Discharge, Dustin attempted to get his discharge changed to Honorable (in the hopes it would also change his re-entry code.) His goal through the entire process was to get back in the Army. This appeal was denied.


His re-entry code stayed the same - R-3. With this code he can, theoretically,. get back into the Armed Forces; We have been told it takes some hard work but it can be done. In fact, the Army Review Board stated Dustin can get back into the service with an R-3 Code. They also stated he did nothing wrong and they admired him for his determination to serve his country. They encouraged him to wait a period of time and try again. The Review Board encouraged him to get his knees healthy and get proper documentation that his knees would hold up to the rigors of training.


Dustin did just that, obtaining a statement from his orthopedic physician to the effect both knees are healthy, solid, and up to the rigors of Army training.


In April, 2004 we started the process of working with a recruiter to accomplish Dustin’s re-enlisting. This was his second mistake: unfortunately, Dustin had the misfortune of having to work through a recruiter who sat on his paperwork for 10 months and neither reported nor accomplished anything.


Dustin acquired and submitted all the requested and necessary documentation from his civilian Orthopedic Surgeon, stating his knees were sound, then went through the process at MEPS of being examined by an Army Orthopedic Surgeon. Both the Army and the civilian physicians are in agreement.


Dustin acquired letters of reference from The Fox Lake Police Dept, the Fox Lake Fire Chief, The Former Mayor of Fox Lake, a Village trustee, and the Assistant Chief of the Fire Dept. These were all very positive references. He was also required to get references from his current employer and a teacher from the high school he attended. These were again very positive references.


Through the entire process we were told by the Army Recruiter “He is good to go†and other remarks of encouragement. “He will get another waiver and he is golden, no problem,†etc.


However, the recruiter working with Dustin had run into problems with the Army and Dustin was given a different recruiter with whom to work. This new Recruiter worked much faster and to my knowledge did his job, as far as getting the paper work in order and off to Regimental Headquarters. He was much more honest, and stated that in his opinion it looked very good for Dustin’s chances to re-enlist.


Dustin was even advised not to renew his Serviceman Life Insurance Policy because he would be getting back in. He didn’t renew and now he has lost the chance to renew his life insurance. This was on the advice of the first recruiter.


We were talking with the new Recruiter on a Monday and he was still very positive, and by Tuesday evening the new recruiter called to tell Dustin his re-enlistment has been denied.


This came as a complete shock to Dustin and to me. His recruiter stated that the paperwork went through fine until it got to the top, where it was turned down by The Surgeon General. It had gone through the Army Orthopedic physician who gave his approval, but when the files and documentation got to someone in the Surgeon General’s office handling re-enlistments, they said the injury would more than likely re-occur. I wasn’t aware the Surgeon General would make these decisions without completing a thorough physical examination to refute the statements of a U.S. Army Orthopedic Surgeon, my son’s own Orthopedic Surgeon, and the Army Review Board..


When I asked if there was any other avenue we could pursue I was told :â€Not really, unless you want to go to the Army Review Board again and try to get his discharge changed to non-medical.†I know that is not going to happen. Dustin was also told if he could prove that he was in sports for the past year it would have been favorable. I don’t understand what sports have to do with his situation. I would think a qualified surgeon’s word and that of an Army Physician would hold more water than someone saying they had played football with my son.


This young man has put his life on hold with the belief he would be able to serve his country. Only to be dashed by the Surgeon General? I would challenge you to find another who is more patriotic and loves this country more than my son. My father served in WWII and the Korean War, and his uncles served in Vietnam. It is family tradition to serve and protect our country.


My youngest son just graduated college in May 2004 with a teaching degree in History. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in June, 2005, is currently stationed at Ft. Campbell and will be deploying to Iraq in May. He enlisted for the same reasons my son Dustin enlisted … to serve and protect. He is as disappointed, perhaps more so than I, in the decision of the U.S. Army Surgeon General not to let his brother re-enlist. It has been their dream to serve together as brothers in the name of Freedom.


A fact that bothers me is that U.S. Army troops are currently being “stop-lossed†and are doing second and third deployments to the Middle East. In light of the Surgeon General’s refusal to permit Dustin to re-enlist, this makes no sense to us.. Our country is seeking 30,000 new troops, yet young men are being turned away. I do not understand this. I do not understand why and how this happened, and seek your help in arriving at a suitable answer. I will gladly provide documentation from Dustin’s surgeon that says he is fit to serve; I will even get additional medical opinions documented, if necessary.


All my son wants is the chance to serve and protect our freedom and our country, and as his mother I have no choice but to support him in his noble effort. I cannot accept this as a final decision. Not without an explanation of why this decision was made.


To quote from a recent Associated Press release:

WASHINGTON - The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals this month and next and is working on a revised sales pitch appealing to the patriotism of parents, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday. "I'm clearly not going to give up," Harvey said. "At this stage we still have six months to go" before the recruiting year ends Sept. 30. "I've challenged our human resource people to get as innovative as they can. And even as we speak we've got a number of new ideas."

One of those new approaches is designed to persuade more parents to steer their children to the Army.

"We're going to appeal to patriotism," he said.

That might be done through a new advertising campaign, he said. He also is encouraging more members of Congress as well as senior Army leaders and Army boosters to spend time in local communities touting the benefits of military service.â€


I have taught my children to live and to believe their highest purpose is to serve and protect their country. There is no need to make further appeal to our patriotism.

I appeal to you for a second chance for my son

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you. I enclose a letter I wrote to The Army Review Board, along with the letter from his physician. I will also at any time acquire and forward whatever documentation you may need to follow up with this matter.


Most sincerely and most hopefully,






CC President George W. Bush

CC Vice President Richard Cheney

CC Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

CC Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey

CC Congresswoman Melissa Bean


I only had a few minutes this morning, so I didn't get a chance to thoroughly read all you posted, but wanted to say that we are all with you and of course hope that everything works out a-okay. It's amazing how things turn out.


It will be hard to have both sons so far away, but God will watch over them. You must be very proud. I know you are.


More later my dear. Must get ready for work. My customers are most happy when the coffee is brewing and the doors are open on time. Funny how that works... :lol:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

I am happy your boys have what they want. Trust in our Lord and every thing will work out


papa Art


Same here. I am very glad they get to do what they feel they should do. In a way I envy them; I am but a arm-chair-amateur-historian with little army experience, but if I was younger...... :unsure:


Best of luck, best wishes and God's protection to them. I hope they both come through safely.


Dustys article


Our local news did an article about Dusty. I gotta get a copy to Tony so he can show it to Babe, Dusty makes mention of him

Here ya go


Long wait to re-enlist ends for local soldier


While watching his brother Taylor prepare for assignment in Iraq, Dustin Schmit had to wait.


Due to an injury and some bureaucatic red tape, Dustin waited for months before he was allowed to re-enlist in the Army. Dustin is glad to have another chance, reports his Mom Cindy Schmit, who wrote a letter to President Bush on Dustin’s behalf.


“I write in reference to my son, Dustin,†she wrote. “In order to outline all I need to discuss with you, I must go back in time to Sept. 11, 2001. As you know, on this day our country suffered a tragedy beyond comprehension. On Sept. 13, eager to serve his country, my son Dustin enlisted in the United States Army, specifying the Special Forces. Because he had knee surgeries on both knees he had to get a waiver in order to enlist in the Army.


“Waiver in hand, he was accepted for enlistment in the Army and entered basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. on Nov. 1, 2001. He suffered an injury and was discharged,†the maternal Schmidt wrote.


Dustin spent the last three years trying to re-enlist.


“I have taught my children to live and to believe their highest purpose is to serve and protect their country. There is no need to make further appeal to our patriotism,†Schmit’s letter said.


“He’s pretty excited. He’ll be going to Fort Campbell, the same place Taylor is based at. He’ll be in the 101st Airborne,†said Cindy Schmit of Dustin.


“I can’t imagine any harder test of a persons strength than what my parents are getting ready to do. I remember more than two years ago when I first left, and the look on my mother’s face. Please know, like Babe Heffron, a veteran from “The Band of Brothers†said the real heroes are the mothers who send their sons off to fight,†Dustin Schmit said.


Suitable for framing! How wonderful that after all this time and effort, his deeds are noticed. Bravo!


I can see a beaming mom right now. Okay stop Cindy, it's blinding!!! :lol::lol:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

:direct::direct: Who me??? hahahahahha thanks Marion I never did like to be called dim., so I guess I am blinding when need be .. Hugs at ya Cindy

Here is a piece the priest from our church did about the boys & Memorial Day I was so honored...


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What a beautiful write-up on both of your sons. Ah another keepsake for a very proud mother. Did you know they were going to do that or was it a complete surprise? :pdt20:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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