Imagine you leave your family and friends to pack up and go to a God-forsaken country where some people are glad to see you, but just as many want to blow you to pieces. You go because it is your job, you go because your government said you must and you go to fight for all that you love here. While you are there, far away from everyone and everything that you love, you are seriously injured. You lose an arm, a jaw, or a leg. You are flown to Germany and then back to Walter Reed in the States to begin your excruciating and slow recovery. You have to face the reality that your military career is most likely over and with a limb missing your other career opportunities have been seriously limited. You have to struggle with thoughts of your spouse and your children adjusting to your injuries.
Imagine all that happens, after months you are finally going to be discharged and you are presented with a bill for $6,000 (and this is after your pay has been downgraded because you are no longer in a combat zone -never mind that you left a limb in that zone). This bill is for "missing equipment" and "military housing" and various other inconsequentials that someone that just gave a piece of their body for the cause should NEVER have to think about.
This has happened to THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE soldiers that have returned from OIF and OEF. (These are those that have been identified –there could be many more).
"This is a financial friendly fire," charged Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, which has been looking into the issue. "It's awful." Davis called the failure systemic and said military "pay problems have been an embarrassment all the way through" the war.
Although efforts are being made to correct such problems, Rep. Todd R. Platts (R-Pa.) said that for some troops, "we've so mismanaged their pay that . . . we've sent debt notices while they're still in combat, in harm's way." Hounding wounded troops is unfathomable, he said. "For even a single soldier, this is unacceptable," he said.(source)
One of these vets was lucky (Robert Loria), George Steinbrenner heard of his plight and donated $25,000, but not all of them will be so lucky. Forget all the other "good causes" out there. FIXING this needs to be FIRST on the agenda. It's bad enough these boys get paid a pittance to begin with. Please contact your State Senators and guarantee that none of the troops from your state are burdened with debt as they are trying to heal...