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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear
    #6627887 - 03/02/07 02:13 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

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Imagine fighting for your country in Iraq, risking life and limb, only to be billed for your lost or damaged uniform. That's what is happening to some soldiers returning from Iraq.
The Eyewitness News Investigators has been looking into this for some time.

They served bravely and are now being slapped with a bill from Uncle Sam. The men you are about to hear from are being charged for the uniforms they served in -- one of them damaged on the battlefield, others lost in the confusion of war.

Are these careless soldiers or victims of a stingy military?

They dodge roadside bombs and bullets for a year in Iraq, but for some soldiers there are no handshakes at their homecoming. Instead, they're handed a bill for damaged or missing equipment.

"I'm so proud to be in the military ... at the same time I just could not believe that when I got back after sacrificing so much that I owed the Army money," the soldier said.

This soldier got a bill for about $500 dollars for lost gear. Another soldier had to pay nearly $800 dollars for items such as trousers, a coat, a helmet which he lost during a year spent in some of Iraq's most dangerous towns.

"Maybe you were lying down with a coat behind your head and you come under fire. Your first reaction isn't to grab coat fold it neatly and make sure it's properly stowed when you're being shot at," another soldier said.

These two soldiers asked us to cover their faces because they're considering making a career of the military. They say the bills are a blow to morale.

"You've got the threat of people shooting at you, you're under intense stress and sometimes you have more important things to potentially think about than do I have everything with me," the soldier said.

And in this letter, an uncle details how when his nephew handed in his Army uniform after returning home from Iraq, "they made him pay for parts of it because it was blood stained during combat along the Syrian border."

"To ask him to fight a war and then pay the bill to fight the war defies common sense," said Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY).

Israel is fighting on the soldier's behalf to get the bill for his bloodied uniform dropped. The Army has responded by saying the soldier should contact his commander who can provide him with a "fair wear and tear statement that would eliminate any responsibility to pay for the damaged uniform."

"That's the last thing in the world we should be asking commanders to have to do while they're writing condolence letters to families back home and it's the last thing we should be asking our soldiers to do," Israel said.

The Army says there's a simple process for soldiers to avoid getting billed for lost or damaged gear. All they have to do is fill out a three-page form listing the items missing and why and then get their commander to sign it. The military says these forms are an easy way for soldiers to avoid charges while maintaining accountability to the American taxpayers. But soldiers we spoke to say it's much more complicated.

"You can sometimes get him to sign a waiver, but he's often swamped with things that are much more important," the soldier said.

These soldiers paid their bills rather than getting bogged down in bureaucracy. They still love the military, even though the respect seemed less than mutual.

"I joined the military because I wanted to give back to those who gave me the freedom that I have today ... when I got home and I was told that I owed the military money because I misplaced or lost some things in the course of my duties as an American soldier, I was really sad. I felt hurt," another soldier said.

It's unclear how widespread this is, but the soldiers we spoke to say they saw fellow veterans getting similar bills. Most of them paid it so they could be discharged and go home to see their families.


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Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6627888 - 03/02/07 02:14 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

Too bad this interesting story was written by our shitty local newsman.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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OfflineGr8fulJ420
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6627898 - 03/02/07 02:18 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

I read an article today (posted on reddit) that tells of injured & discharged soldiers having to pay back portions of their enlistment bonus! Imagine losing a limb in Iraq.... being sent home and discharged.... and then getting a bill cuz you didn't complete your enlistment term and uncle sam wants his bonus back.


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6627967 - 03/02/07 02:47 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

I wonder how much they owe for losing their lives.


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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OfflineCherk
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6627989 - 03/02/07 02:55 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

you think bush could write a check out of his miracle fund or something...


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I have considered such matters.

SIKE


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Invisibleimplicitli
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #6627991 - 03/02/07 02:56 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

I haven't really heard one good thing about this war. Even Bush has stopped declaring victory.

And, Whiskey, I think that dying is free, but maybe the military charges the widows and children?


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OfflineCherk
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: Cherk]
    #6627994 - 03/02/07 02:58 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

if I was Donald Trump I'd get a new stylist to re-do my wardrobe
he's way out of style
then id cash some fat checks for those miliary boys


--------------------
I have considered such matters.

SIKE


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OfflineLloydChristmas
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6628011 - 03/02/07 03:06 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

The Army says there's a simple process for soldiers to avoid getting billed for lost or damaged gear. All they have to do is fill out a three-page form listing the items missing and why and then get their commander to sign it. The military says these forms are an easy way for soldiers to avoid charges while maintaining accountability to the American taxpayers. But soldiers we spoke to say it's much more complicated.

Are you fucking kidding me, how many billions of taxpayers dollars has this administration just "lost"?


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OfflineCherk
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: LloydChristmas]
    #6628056 - 03/02/07 03:27 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

don't worry we need more toilet paper


--------------------
I have considered such matters.

SIKE


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Iraq vets being charged for lost/damaged gear [Re: implicitli]
    #6628060 - 03/02/07 03:28 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

implicitli said:
And, Whiskey, I think that dying is free, but maybe the military charges the widows and children?




Yeah they charge each family one husband and one father.


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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