Several New York veterans have been asked to repay part of their signing bonuses after war injuries prevented them from completing their tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sen. Charles Schumer said.
Hundreds of veterans nationwide may have been affected by what the Army characterizes as a mistake, said Schumer (D-N.Y.), who along with lawmakers including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has called for legislation to guarantee that signing bonuses won't be reduced. ...
The issue surfaced earlier this month when a soldier who was partially blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq told media outlets that the Army asked him to repay $2,800 of his $7,500 enlistment bonus because he had only completed about a year of his three-year service.
Former Pfc. Jordan Fox, 21, of Pittsburgh, received the bill in late October and a week later received a notice that he could be charged interest if he didn't make a payment within 30 days.
In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.
Army officials said the incident was a mistake, and told Fox he did not have to repay the bonus. Soldiers who are injured or become ill while on active duty can keep all sign-up bonuses due them, the Army said.
"This is an anomaly," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Rob Cain said yesterday. "It shouldn't have happened. It doesn't pass the common sense test."
The Army is conducting a review to determine how many wounded veterans have been asked to repay part of their bonus or have not received their full bonus. Cain said wounded veterans whose bonuses have been revoked should call the Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline at 800-984-8523 or e-mail email@example.com.
"There is a policy in place to protect these soldiers," he said. "It's going to be corrected."
Interview with Jordan Fox, on FOXNews:
I've seen press reports of soldiers who've been given personality disorder discharges also being forced to repay their recruitment bonus. For example, from a January post on a Newsweek piece:
Many soldiers who sought mental health counseling after returning from Iraq, like former Spc. Donald Schmidt of Chillicothe, Ill., say they learned only after their discharge that they must repay part of their re-enlistment bonus based on the portion of time they did not serve — more than $10,000 in Schmidt's case.
While this issue does not fall under the PTSD category specifically, it does fall under something that I call disillusionment.