Friday, April 18, 2008

An Injustice

WASHINGTON — After both his brothers were killed serving in Iraq, Spc. Jason Hubbard left the Army under the “sole survivor” rule and moved back to California near his parents’ home.

But when he applied for transitional health care and other veterans benefits, he was denied for ending his military tour a year earlier than he had promised.

Army officials also kept his last paycheck, claiming they were recouping some of his $6,000 enlistment bonus for not fulfilling his contract. “I couldn’t believe they were doing this to a family that had sacrificed so much already,” he told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday. “I’m the last one in my family. I didn’t feel like we had more to give.”

On Wednesday, lawmakers introduced new legislation forcing defense and veterans affairs officials to prevent separation penalties and award full benefits to troops who leave the service under the sole survivor rule, calling it an issue of fairness and recognition of their loss.

This is typical of bureaucratic inhumanity. I wish I could stop reading stories like this about servicemembers.

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