(NaturalNews) In some cases, the U.S. military has been denying wounded soldiers the full amount of their enlistment bonuses, under the rationale that the soldiers are unable to fulfill the full term of their service contract.
The policy came to light after Jordan Fox, who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq and sent home three months early, received a letter asking him to repay $2,800 of his signing bonus. Fox had been hospitalized for several months, and still has an injured back and a blind right eye.
“I was just completely shocked,” Fox said. “I couldn’t believe I’d gotten a bill in the mail from the Army.”
Upon signing up for military service, troops may receive up to $30,000 in signing bonuses. These bonuses are contingent upon fulfilling a specified term of service.
But according to CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, the military has asked “thousands” of injured troops to return part of their bonuses.
In response to the KDKA report, a military spokesperson replied that the bill sent to Fox was a mistake.
“If you are ill or were injured while on duty, the Army will not ask you to repay any portion of your recruitment bonus,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Tucker.
But the military has refused to comment on charges that thousands of soldiers have received letters similar to Fox’s. In addition, the military has only specified that wounded soldiers will not be asked to repay any of their bonuses — it has not promised to pay full bonuses to injured soldiers in cases where the bonus was not paid up front.
“I am disappointed that the policy does not go further by stating that wounded soldiers will also receive the remaining balance of future bonus payments,” said Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania. “It is preposterous for our government to have a policy that says that a soldier who has sustained serious injuries in the field of battle has not fulfilled his or her service obligation.”
Sunday, June 22, 2008
by: David Gutierrez
Source: Natural News