8 Soldiers File Suit Over Back Door Draft

They've served their time in the armed forces but they can't get out. The military keeps extending their terms, under what it refers to as a "Stop-Loss Policy." The soldiers say it's a back-door draft and will file suit today with the help of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

these soldiers are already overseas - transporting supplies, working radio communications and handling military contracts, somewhere in the desert.

"You should know I'm not against the war," said David W. Qualls, one of the plaintiffs and a former full-time soldier who signed up in July 2003 for a one-year stint in the Arkansas National Guard but now expects to be in Iraq until next year.

"This just isn't about that. This is a matter of fairness. My job was to go over and perform my duties under the contract I signed. But my year is up and it's been up. Now I believe that they should honor their end of the contract." Some military experts described the soldiers' challenge as both surprising and telling, given the tenor of military life, where soldiers are trained throughout their careers to follow their commanders' orders.

Up to 7,000 troops have been affected by the policy. According to one of the suing soldier's lawyers:

They were fraudulently induced to sign up, Mr. Lobel said, because nothing in their enlistment contract mentioned that they might be involuntarily kept on.

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