2 isle soldiers are among 75 deserters
Two of the 75 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers who failed to report when their units were called up since the 2001 terrorist attacks belonged to Hawaii's 29th Brigade Combat Team.
Maj. Chuck Anthony, Hawaii National Guard spokesman, said the two junior enlisted soldiers, whom he declined to identify because of privacy laws, were either discharged or being processed for separation from the National Guard.
Anthony said the first soldier was a member of the 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery, and failed to report when his unit was mobilized in August 2004. He has since been discharged from the Hawaii Army National Guard.
The second enlisted solder failed to return to his unit -- the 2nd Battalion, 299th Infantry -- after coming home on Christmas leave from Fort Bliss in January 2005. He is in the process of being administratively discharged.
The Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team deployed for nearly a year of combat duty in Iraq in February 2005.
Brig. Gen. John Ma, commander of the Pacific Army Reserve, said his command didn't have any problems with the mobilization of nearly 3,000 reservists. There are still 600 Army Reserve soldiers from Hawaii on active duty.
The Army has said that of the 75 soldiers now classified as deserters, fewer than a dozen have either surrendered or been arrested. Arrest warrants have been issued for 51.