Volunteer Soldier Can't Go to Iraq

By: Natalie Shepherd
By: Natalie Shepherd

A Michigan National Guardsman has volunteered to serve in Iraq, but he can't be deployed because he doesn't have a driver's license.

Twenty-five-year-old Ben Shaw wants to be deployed to Iraq with the 1461st on Dec. 18. The unit will be performing transportation duties, duties the military says he can't perform without a license.

Shaw has several drinking and driving related convictions and his civilian license is suspended. He has been sober since April and has also completed a rehabilitation program. He wants the court system to reinstate a restricted license so he can go with his unit.

Military regulations state that a military driver's license can't be issued unless the person has a valid civilian license. Officials say Shaw can be deployed if he is able to get the courts to reissue his license. Shaw says he has been told that must happen by close of business this Friday, in order to guarantee his deployment.

Shaw says he has been in contact with the circuit courts, politicians and the Secretary of State's office. He says he can't believe that his desire to serve might go unfulfilled.


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