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Old 10-14-2005, 01:16 PM   #1
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"Financial Friendly Fire"

Yes, let's "support our troops"


"What benefit is the Army getting, aggressively going after disabled service members for $500 or $1,000 or whatever? Why not give injured service members a little leeway?"

That sentiment is common.

Tyson Johnson, 24, of Prichard, Ala., was stunned after being struck by a mortar round in Iraq to find a bill waiting for him when he came home from the hospital. It was for $2,700, the bonus he had been given when he enlisted.

"I definitely felt betrayed, because I went over there and almost lost my life," said Johnson, a corporal when he was injured. His debt was resolved after his story made news. "I really didn't need more stress."

Sgt. Gary Dowd, 28, was caught in an ambush 30 miles north of Tikrit, Iraq, in 2003 and suffered multiple injuries, losing his left hand and forearm.

After 13 months of treatment, he retired from the Army early this year. Shortly afterward, he received a letter at his home in Tampa asking him to repay $600 for a survivor-benefit insurance plan he had opted out of when he signed his deployment papers.

There was no number on the bill to call -- no way to protest. "I was pretty irked that they thought I owed them something," he said. "I feel like I've given them enough."

Although Dowd feels there is no ill intent, he said, "I do wish that once they realized they had an injured service member, they would flag them and say: 'This guy has been in the hospital. He's going through enough already.' "

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Old 10-14-2005, 09:00 PM   #2
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Obscene bureaucracy, they deserve more.
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