From Manhattan to Waikiki, an informal network of private attorneys seems to be coalescing around a new sign of difficult times for the U.S. military: Uncle Sam’s surprise greetings to soldiers who have fulfilled their reservist obligations according to contract.

In recent New York cases, for example, lawyers claim the U.S. Army targets soldiers who have served eight years of active and inactive duty. When they make pro forma application for honorable discharge, the Army is slow to sign off and sends out deployment orders during this period of status limbo.

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