Nickel-and-Diming Our Wounded: Iraq Vet Forced To Pay Back Army Bonus

Nickel-and-Diming Our Wounded: Iraq Vet Forced to Pay Back Army Bonus
Posted November 27, 2007 | 04:25 PM (EST)
Former Private First Class Jordan Fox was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He suffered a serious back injury, and he lost sight in his right eye.

A few short weeks after his honorable discharge from the Army, a letter came by mail from the Defense Department. Was it a letter informing him of local veterans’ clinics where he could receive vocational rehabilitation or counseling? No. A signed “thank you for your service” from the Secretary of Defense, or perhaps the President? No.

It was a bill for nearly $3,000.

Since Fox was too severely injured to complete his military service, the Defense Department was demanding that he return part of his enlistment bonus. In the Army bureaucracy, his wounds didn’t matter. The Army machine wanted its money back.

Sadly, he is not alone. Some troops seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are being denied their full enlistment bonus by the Pentagon, while others are being asked to return money they have already received.

In July, the Dole-Shalala Commission exposed the Department of Defense policy that prohibits bonuses from being paid in full to service members unless their entire military commitment is fulfilled. Wounded troops, unable to continue to serve, are forced into an early military discharge, and thus, can be denied their full bonus.

However, new legislation gaining momentum in Congress promises to put an end to this loophole. The “Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act” (H.R. 3793) would prevent wounded warriors from being unfairly penalized by requiring the Department of Defense to provide veterans discharged with combat-related injuries with full payment of any and all remaining enlistment bonuses within 30 days of discharge.

The men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan have served our nation proudly. Denying them their full enlistment bonus is a terrible way to welcome them home. The Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act would ensure that all of our nation’s wounded warriors receive the bonuses they have unquestionably earned.

Help us send the message to Congress that we cannot continue to nickel and dime these men and women who have given so much to serve our country.

UPDATE: Watch Jordan and his mother on CNN Headline News, along with IAVA’s Todd Bowers, here.


About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at;;; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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