Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wounded soldiers asked to return signing bonuses

I have nothing much to add to the excerpt below except, there's always and "except, there is a tremendous fucking chasm between Bush's words and actions.

You're surprised?

How comfortable is that cave you've been living in? Hell, even Osama knows what's going on in the world from his caves.
When Jordan Fox was serving in Iraq, his mother helped organize Operation Pittsburgh Pride, which sends thousands of care packages to U.S. troops from his hometown, which prompted a personal “thank you” from the White House. When Fox was seriously injured in Iraq, the president sent what appeared to be personal note, expressing his concerns to the Fox family.

But more recently, Fox received a different piece of correspondence from the Bush administration.
The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

I watched the report from the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, and I kept thinking, “This can’t be right.” Apparently, it is.

In Jordan Fox’s case, he was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle, causing back injuries and blindness in his right eye. He was sent home, unable to complete the final three months of his military commitment.

Last week, the Pentagon sent him a bill: Fox owed the government nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus.

“I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they’re telling me they want their money back,” Fox said.

Look, if a soldier signed a contract, collected a signing bonus, and then quit, I can understand the military asking for the signing bonus back.

But we’re talking about troops who volunteered, served, and were seriously injured. It’s not their fault they got hurt. How on earth is the Pentagon justified in asking for a refund?

In the next to last paragraph, I agree with that assessment. If one reneges on a contract that's one thing. But compare this situation with an athlete who is injured. Do they have to return some or all of their signing bonuses if downed by injury?

I did a superficial search of the NFL (National Football League) and the only thing I came up with was Kellen Winslow Jr: Winslow knew he was breaching contract.

My search seemed to indicate players injured in the line of work (playing football) are not penalized.

Oh, but he's a football player, a much more serious undertaking than being a soldier, so I suppose that doesn't count as a decent comparison.

Via Carpetbagger Report.

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