The Return of the Press Gang

From Holden:

Recruiters lied to a seventeen-year-old girl to get her into the Guard, then call her AWOL when she refuses to report for training.

A recent high school graduate who alleged that she was recruited into the National Guard through deceptive practices did not appear for her entry training Wednesday and now is considered absent without leave, officials said.

Guard officials said they will seek a warrant from a district judge to force Jessica Faustner, 18, of Bath, to go to training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County.

“We will pursue this pretty strongly,”‘ said Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, spokesman for the Pennsylvania National Guard. “We just want soldiers fulfilling their requirements.”


Faustner said Thursday that a recruiter had told her that the Army National Guard would send her to nursing school after basic training, but instead her unit had been told it had a 90-percent chance of going to Iraq.

“A 17-year-old girl should be thinking about her prom and her graduation, not about going to Iraq. She was just misled all the way around. She’s not real sophisticated,” said [Faustner’s lawyer John] Roberts, who said his client was recruited at Northampton Area High School about six months ago.

He said the recruiter did not give her and her parents complete information, and therefore wants the Guard to release her from the commitment.

“She’s not around,” Roberts said. “She’s prepared to go to jail, if that’s what they want.”