Dept of Defense: Adding Insult to Injury

26 Nov

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The government has a program that pays you an incentive of up to $10,000 to enlist in the armed forces in order to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. If you leave the service early, you may forfeit a pro-rated portion of that sum. Sounds fair, right?

But when your departure from the service is due to a service-related injury, should you be billed for that pro-rated incentive money?

The federal government is doing just that, and no one is explaining why, and no one is taking the blame. Senator Chuck Schumer, though, (this is part of what we call “checks and balances”) wants some answers.

Service members seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan after they received a $10,000 bonus for enlisting are being dunned by the Pentagon to repay portions of the incentive money, says a U.S. senator who calls the practice an example of military policy gone wrong.

“A bill in the mail is not the kind of present our soldiers deserve in this holiday season,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said. “Our veterans are not being treated with the dignity, respect and thanks that they deserve. It’s just a disgrace.”

At a news conference Sunday, he said the policy remained in effect despite a report last July by a presidential commission that wounded veterans were being unfairly penalized by a requirement that enlistees must fulfill their entire term of service or lose a pro-rated portion of their bonus.

“This policy and early discharge as a result of service-related injury is now preventing thousands of combat-wounded warriors from getting the bonsues they have earned,”

This does indeed add insult to injury, don’t you think?

12 Responses to “Dept of Defense: Adding Insult to Injury”

  1. jack fate November 26, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    But I thouight our government SUPPORTZ TEH TROOPZ?

    This is just another outrage perpetrated by a ruling class, with minimal actual military experience, on the unwashed masses. They are more than happy to call soldiers the best Americans and heroes while they are doing their bidding. But the moment they are of no use to them militarily, they politely and firmly tell them to “get fucked.” Ain’t that sweet?

  2. STEEL November 26, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    Are you questioning the president’s support of our troops. Because if you are you are then you obviously don’t support our troops and if you don’t like America you should just move someplace else and what about Hillary and all of her scandals? You don’t even talk about that! If it were up to the democrat party we would not even have a war for these soldiers to fight in; and then what? They would just be sitting around and there would be calls to reduce the size of the army. All you llliberals ever want to do is reduce the military, more proof that the democrat party is anti military and anti soldier!

  3. MIke November 26, 2007 at 11:56 am #

    Steel is that post a joke? Is this the liberal think tank posting to make repubilicans look like morons or are you a real moron? I think you are right, if the dems had the white house we wouldn’t be in iraq. But your right its all hillary’s fault, but you better start blaming Obama, he is going to be the front runner.

  4. jack fate November 26, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    I hope, for his sake, STEEL is joking. If not, maybe someone should alert his case worker in the group home to his nonsensical internet rants. heh. . .

  5. STEEL November 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm #

    You are right. I guess that statement is a bit too realistic to be automatically taken as sarcasm. That is scary isn’t it?

    We do know however, that Hillary is the cause of all problems in the world.

  6. Pauldub November 26, 2007 at 2:25 pm #

    Someone forgot to put an X in the “Damn near killed” box. oops.And these guys need the money to cover expenses for the couple of years it takes to get their medical covered.

  7. hank November 26, 2007 at 3:46 pm #

    Lets’ look at the issue with a bit less snarkyness.
    My daughter was forced to leave the Air Force due to injuries sustained in 2003 in the OIF theatre of operations. The Medical Board decided she had to become a civilian, instead of allowing her to move into another career field that would be less taxing to her 6 partially ruptured cervical/thoracic discs. (she was a Strike Eagle mechanic and wanted to go into an administrative job)
    She was given a medical discharge and a 10,000.00 seperation check.
    The VA has refused to give her any monthly disability payments, until they figure the 10,000.00 she already had, divided in monthly payments(of the amount her checks WOULD be), has been allocated. The check was NOT GIVEN FOR HER DISABILITY, it was issued because she was leaving the Air Force involuntarily due to the decision of the Medical Board. This is done to help the service member re-enter civilian life.
    We figured between my wife and I, her parents, her 4 sisters, their husbands, and my children our combined families have about 140 years of military service. And we are ALL used to being FUCKED BY THE VA. It’s their specialty, what they do best. Sort of like having your own private insurance company that screams SAY NO!! DENY THE CLAIM!!!
    It is shameful that the All-Volunteer military is treated this way. One would think that after compulsory military service ended in 1973, that the Veterans would be better taken care of, since they protect the rest of us, and they’re not there against their will. HA!
    Though they try hard at the local center and hospital levels, the VA is choked with multiple strata of bureaucratic red tape, pays millions in salaries to people who essentially do NOTHING, and needs to be stripped to the bones adminstratively, and re-shaped into a system that actually functions.
    Of course (sorry John B) but the LOONIONS don’t allow you to get rid of someone making 60,000.00 a year and produces NOTHING. Your Tax Dollars at work.
    Veterans are used to being fucked by the VA in particular and the Government in general. It goes with the territory.

  8. LC Scotty November 26, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/rtf/130429x.rtf

    Check section E1.5.3 It clearly states that servicemembers will not be asked to repay bonuses on time not served due to service related injuries. All a servicemember has to do is apply for a waiver and viola-no bonus repayment. There’s a good discussion here

    http://haloscan.com/tb/signal94/4960407157437353465

    which is where I found the link to the DoD paperwork linked above.

    The long and the short of it is that it is likely a poorly programed database (written prior to large numbers of casualties) lacking the appropriate reference fields. It sees servicemember A is no longer on active duty, looks up a few dates and then spits out a letter. Very little of this stuff is done manually.

    It’s a shitty letter, but easily corrected with a DD214.

  9. LC Scotty November 26, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    http://signal94.blogspot.com/

    2nd link no worky. me no good on intertubes…

  10. STEEL November 26, 2007 at 6:25 pm #

    Anyone who risks their life for our country should never have to set eyes on #$%# DD214!

  11. hank kaczmarek November 27, 2007 at 12:11 am #

    Scotty
    We’ve been out a LONG time.
    Thats only repayment of SRB, Selective Re-enlistment Bonus.

    It’s NOT supposed to be for ENLISTMENT BONUSES, those done on initial sign up. WE didn’t qualify for one, or you know I would have gone into bubbleheads or surface puke to get it.
    And I qualified for EVERY enlisted program there was in 75.

  12. LC Scotty November 27, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    Steel,

    When I think of one of our soldiers, missing limbs and then getting this letter it really does piss me off. These folks don’t need that sort of stress, even for a minute. To be sure, in a perfect world never having to get a letter or file for a waiver would be the case. DoD is a mega-bureaucracy and these things will happen. I’m not happy about it, but I don’t know how to prevent these things from ever happening. So, yes you are absolutely correct. I’m also pretty sure that now that the Db glitch (if that’s what it is) is exposed it will be fixed. No more shocking letters.

    The Libertairian side of me thinks it’s due to lack of competition-no negative consequences (lost customers etc.) for poor performance, while the sugar frosted side of me…oh never mind.

    Hank,

    Perhaps one of us is not reading closely. When I read:

    “Department of Defense INSTRUCTION NUMBER 1304.29 December 15, 2004

    SUBJECT: Administration of Enlistment Bonuses, Accession Bonuses for New Officers in Critical Skills, Selective Reenlistment Bonuses, and Critical Skills Retention Bonuses for Active Members”

    I took that to be SRB as well as the first time sign on enlistment bonuses. It is certainly possible that there is another bonus program not covered under these guidelines (it has, indeed, been a long time), but I’m pretty sure that this directive applies to the bonuses in question.

    I was also sorry to hear about your daughter. It’s cases like that that make malfeasance in situations like this seem so likely.

    At any rate, I think it highly unlikely that Bush is sitting in the Oval Office giggling about fucking these guys over, or trying to use this tack to preserve funding for war operations.

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