Valley soldier wrapped in legal red tape - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Valley soldier wrapped in legal red tape

A Valley solider's retirement pay is put on hold.

Now he's forced to live in another state and out of his car until legal red tape is finished.

What was supposed to be an easy retirement process has turned into an administrative nightmare, forcing a Valley solider into an uncertain future.

Denise Baker sifts through paper work belonging to her husband, Army Sergeant First Class Gregory Baker.

A solider who's served 2 tours overseas, Baker retired from the Army this year and began work for a private contractor in Iraq.

Then, trouble, Baker wasn't prepared for.

Believing his retirement request had been processed, senior leaders in his outfit decided Baker wouldn't be allowed to retire after all.

"As of January 2007. This is when they are saying they had orders to go back to Iraq. Being that he had pre-approved retirement, he shouldn't have been put in another deployable unit."

That, according to Baker, has put her husband's retirement pay on hold.

The family's finances in trouble.

Denise says it gets worse.

Gregory Baker is now living out of his car at a base in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Everything he owns, stuffed in the trunk.

The back seat is now his bed.

Baker says no one is willing to step in and help clear up the confusion.

"How could they let this happen to a 20 year solider that never had no problems."

Baker's paperwork proves his retirement was approved by Army leaders and processed by Fort Sill's retirement office.

Still, though, that didn't stop his superiors from listing him as AWOL, leaving Baker with few choices about his future.

"Either you take the article 15 and they just let you go. Or take the court martial they are going to send you to Iraq and court martial you in front of this unit."

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