Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DoD demands injured vets pay back bonuses

By Libby Spencer

In their desperation to meet quotas, the military gave out enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 to get kids to sign up. Now, in some perverse twist on the Pottery Barn rule, if the soldiers were so broken by war injuries that they can't complete their full term of service, the DoD is demanding they give the money back. We're talking about thousands of soldiers who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and brain function.

Jordan Fox is one of them. He lost all vision in his right eye and suffered a back injury three months short of his contract and will be unable to return to active duty. His mother started a care package program for soldiers in Iraq, "Operation Pittsburgh Pride which has sent approximately 4,000 care packages." Bush met with her personally to thank her and sent her a note expressing concern when Jordan was injured. Then Jordan got a letter from DoD asking for $3,000 of his $10,000 signing bonus back.

Words can't begin to describe my outrage at this callous treatment of those who served and sacrificed their future for the neo-con folly. But this is just one injustice among many betrayals our injured Iraq vets are suffering. Bush's budget proposal wants to cut the federal deficit on the missing limbs of our war wounded. His proposed budget would decrease veterans healthcare spending in 2008 -- and continue the cutting in successive years, just as the returning troops are going to need the most care.

There is a time when incompetence becomes sociopathic, and I think we've reached it in this administration. They have used the troops as props and pawns in their power ploys and they don't even have the human decency to look after those who survived their war games while they take great care to pad the pockets of their corporate cronies. These people should be rotting in jail, not running the country.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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  • Good post, Libby. I just read this post to my "roommate," ("7 of 8") and he and I agreed that you said so well what we felt when we heard this news last night --outrage.
    "Sociopathic" is a good word.

    By Blogger Carol Gee, at 4:25 PM  

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