Wounded Soldiers Left in Debt



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Wounded Soldiers Left in Debt

Associated Press | April 28, 2006

WASHINGTON - After suffering paralysis, brain damage, lost limbs and other wounds in war, nearly 900 Army Soldiers ran up $1.2 million in debt because of the military's "complex, cumbersome" pay system, congressional investigators said Thursday.

The report from the Government Accountability Office said another 400 who died in the wars had $300,000 in debt but that the Defense Department doesn't pursue collection of people killed in combat. "We found that hundreds of separated battle-injured Soldiers were pursued for collection of military debts incurred through no fault of their own," said the report. It said that included seeking reimbursement for errors in pay or for equipment left on the battlefield.

The problem became known months ago as Soldiers began to complain and lawmakers asked for the report. The Pentagon said it has been working to resolve it.

"My experience is the military ... when these things are reported to them, work aggressively to resolve them," said Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman.

"Not by way of trying to make any excuses, it's clear that our ... processes could be shored up to try to prevent some of these ... from happening."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

{Editor's note: only now is the support coming to help with the budget problems!}


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