“Three years after he was honorably discharged from the Army, Frederick Pistorius was surprised to learn he was a deserter.
But there it was, on his doorstep: a letter from Barry W. Kimmons, Deputy Chief, Deserter Information Point Extension Office of the Army Reserve Personnel Command.
“On 12 July 2004 you were involuntarily mobilized to active duty in the United States Army,” the letter says. “To date you have not reported to your mobilization station as required by your orders.” Possibly Pistorius had not responded for two reasons. The Pistorius family had moved from the address in Sharon, Pa., to which the Army had sent its first letter. More saliently, having served honorably in not one but two branches of the U.S. military, with no additional obligation showing on his discharge papers, Pistorius would have had no reason to think he was subject to anything but his civilian job at a local steel plant.”