Father torn between son and country, stands by both - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Father torn between son and country, stands by both

Updated:

By Eric Sollman
WAFF 48 News Reporter




An army Sergeant from Alabama is refusing to deploy to Iraq, and his family is dealing with his decision to do so.    

Robert Chiroux has mixed reactions to the whole ordeal.  

His son Matthis, a military photo journalist, is one of thousands of individual ready reserve troops recalled to combat.

Now, according to army officials he's one of about 700 called from this group that have failed to report in the last seven years.

The last time Matthis Chiroux made local news was four years ago. 

The story involved his girlfriend at the time, and a car break-in.

Now this U.S. Army Sergeant is making national headlines for refusing to re-deploy to Iraq.

He's not hiding his protest, and his family isn't dodging questions either.

"My son made the decision not to report, he feels the war in Iraq is unconstitutional and un-just," says Chiroux. 

His father Robert is a navy veteran who lives in Huntsville.

He says his son was to report to Fort Jackson this past Sunday for re-activation from The Individual Ready Reserve.

Matthis refused.

"My son has certainly indicated that if he had been called back from inactive reserve to active duty to serve in Afghanistan he would not have hesitated to go," says Chiroux. 

"I know that my son in spite of what I have heard said of him, he's certainly not a coward, he's decided that he feels this war is illegal and he's taking a stand," he adds. 

While Robert doesn't necessarily agree with his son's stand, he stands by him.

"My son asked me to come to Washington with him to be with him on father's day when he basically reached the point at which he was officially not reporting," says Chiroux. 

"I had some reservations about standing behind my son while he made his statement, but he's my son and of course I love him and I'm going to stand with him."

Robert says he would gladly take his sons place and serve if he could.  

You can contact Eric at esollman@waff.com

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