Supporting Our Troops
A few years ago I wrote about a high school classmate who was injured in Iraq and then charged $650 for the body armor that was damaged when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb. Fortunately, about a year later (after his story was picked up by numerous media outlets) the army reimbursed him, and admitted that he never should have been charged in the first place. At the time, I suspected that he was just one of the many soldiers falling through bureaucratic red tape and winding up with bills they shouldn't owe. Now the proof comes from our own Government Accountability Office:
Army and DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Service] data as of September 30, 2005, showed that nearly 1,300 Army GWOT battle-injured soldiers who left the service or were killed in combat had military debts totaling $1.5 million during the first 4 years of the OIF/OEF deployment.7 Within this total, almost 900 battle-injured soldiers had debts totaling about $1.2 million and about 400 soldiers who died in battle had debts totaling over $300,000. The actual number of separated battle-injured soldiers and fallen soldiers reported for debt collection may be greater due to inaccurate or incomplete information these soldiers.