Billing injured troops is shameful

While all of us are exchanging greeting cards at this holiday time and getting ready to welcome returning troops, the Pentagon is sending out its own greetings.


The greetings are in the form of bills to troops who have been blinded, had their limbs amputated, suffered brain traumas -- these and others who could not complete their tours of duty in Iraq. Since they had received a bonus for signing up, the greetings turn out to be bills for the time left in their tour. The Pentagon wants to be fair, and is only billing for the part of the bonus based on the months served!

This is the way the administration is supporting our troops who are injured and maimed. While one must be skeptical about such an outrage, it has been confirmed by the Associated Press and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who has a constituent who was blinded and billed for $2,500 against the $10,000 bonus he received for signing. This unbelievable act of the administration billing veterans for their injuries in the support of President Bush's war is not tolerable, and flies in the face of Bush's charge that it is the Democrats who do not support the troops.

Billing war veterans for their injuries is not something most people could ever comprehend. Now that this practice has been exposed, let's see if our Republican members of Congress rise up as they should against this insult to our fighting troops. There is no point in asking Bush to do the same.

Lowell Greenbaum, Augusta

(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)



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