succumbing to peer pressure

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Supporting our troops, the Bush administration way

Eddie Rebrook graduated the year after me from GW High School in WV. He was injured in Iraq just about one year ago. And recently the army decided that he owes them $700 for body armor that was removed from his body shortly before he was airlifted to a Baghdad hospital. And they held his honorable discharge paperwork ransom until he coughed up.

“I last saw the [body armor] when it was pulled off my bleeding body while I was being evacuated in a helicopter,” Rebrook said. “They took it off me and burned it.”

But no one documented that he lost his Kevlar body armor during battle, he said. No one wrote down that armor had apparently been incinerated as a biohazard.


Even with the injury, Rebrook said he didn’t want to leave the Army. He said the “medical separation” discharge was the Army’s decision, not his.

So after eight months at Fort Hood, he gathered up his gear and started the “long process” to leave the Army for good.


In the past, the Army allowed to soldiers to write memos, explaining the loss and destruction of gear, Rebrook said.

But a new policy required a “report of survey” from the field that documented the loss.

Rebrook said he knows other soldiers who also have been forced to pay for equipment destroyed in battle.

At least there's a bit of a happy ending to this particular story. Americablog picked it up, sent out the call for donations, and raised over $5,000. But how many soldier's stories remain out there, untold?


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