Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Contract Broken

Being a veteran of the Iraq war, well technically I am here so I am not a veteran, I joined the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). It is a good organization that is concerned about the specific issues the veterans of these wars are facing.

I gotta tell you, when I read about the PFC Fox fiasco, I got so upset. The Army is so ignorant sometimes. I know we are having budget issues and the Democrats are pushing to stop funding and that means that we (American Soldiers) will be left stranded on the frontlines. It is an effort to force the Bush Administration to withdraw from Iraq and pull support from a strengthening Iraqi Government before it is ready to stand on it's own.

All that aside, I heard of the Army billing our wounded veterans that are kicked out of the Army because of injuries they sustained in combat. They are being billed for money they received when they enlisted in the Army. Since they are now disabled and being kicked out because they were wounded before they could fullill their full contract, they have to pay the Army back money they recieved.

It sickens me to think that the military thinks so little of the sacrafice these soldiers made. I am glad to see that someone in politics is taking notice and pushing a bill that will stop the Army from pouring salt in an open wound of our soldiers. There are many hardships ahead, mentally, physically and financially for these veterans and if they Army can pay $900 for a hammer, they can pay $3000 to a soldier who lost his arm and his leg in Iraq.

--- Here is a letter I received from the IAVA ---

When Jordan Fox was serving as a Private First Class in Iraq in May of this year, he was injured by a roadside bomb. The attack left him with a back injury and blind in his right eye, and as a result, the Army sent him home. A few weeks later, to his surprise, they sent him a bill for nearly $3,000.

The Army demanded that he return part of his enlistment bonus because he had been injured and medically discharged before completing his enlistment. Jordan had signed up to serve his country and was injured in the line of duty, and now the Army was asking for its money back.
Fortunately, there's a new bill gaining momentum in Congress that would ensure this doesn't happen to others in his situation. Pennsylvania Congressman Jason Altmire has introduced the "Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act" (H.R. 3793), and IAVA is making a major push to ensure it gets passed as soon as possible. Please take a minute to send a message to your Representatives urging them to support it.

Throughout this fight, Jordan has maintained that he is proud of his military service, and would serve again if asked. But this is a loophole that needs to be fixed immediately. The men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan have served our nation proudly, and this is a terrible way to welcome them home.

So please take a minute now to send your Representatives a message, and tell them to support the Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act.

On behalf of Jordan, and future wounded veterans, thank you.