CORVALLIS — When Marine Corps reservist Daniel Ha was offered the chance to take part in a humanitarian mission to Honduras, he was excited for the opportunity.
The 24-year-old Corvallis resident had been drilling with his unit — the Springfield-based Engineer Services Company, Marine Combat Logistics Battalion 23 — one weekend a month and two weeks a year, but this would be his first full-fledged deployment.
“That’s what I signed up for,” he said.
Along with nearly 200 other Marine reservists, including 36 from Oregon, Ha was put on active duty in March. After three months of training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the group shipped out to the Gracias a Dios province of Honduras, where they spent the next six months as part of a Marine task force. While there, they built a schoolhouse, renovated a hospital and completed a number of other aid projects in rural areas of the Central American country.
But when he and his fellow reservists got back to the States just before Thanksgiving, they found an unpleasant surprise waiting for them: Unlike the regular Marines who took part in the Honduran deployment, the reservists would not be receiving