The US Army has already tepped in to the case of a wounded soldier who was asked to return a portion of his enlistment bonus (original post here.) Jordan Fox will NOT have to return any of that money. The wording from the Army spokesman would appear to confirm that what I surmised was correct. This is a case of an overzealous REMF bean counter and the Army is going to rectify this as soon as possible.
KDKA contacted the Pentagon. Investigators there took a look. A military spokesman told KDKA's Marty Griffin the bill sent to Fox was a mistake.
Griffin asked Army Spokesperson Major Nathan Banks if the government was taking on Fox's case.
Banks said via phone, "We are. We are … definitely working it out. We have seen where the problems have been made, the system, and we're just making – you know, give us the opportunity to make a wrong a right."
Major Banks says Fox will not have to pay back his bonus. Fox says "fine," but he wants more.
"Hopefully this will turn into change for not only me but many other soldiers that have lost limbs, you know, become permanently deaf," he said. "I hope to see a change for everybody."
The Pentagon will not comment on allegations that thousands of other soldiers just sent home from Iraq and other invasions, including Afghanistan, will not receive these sorts of bills. They cannot comment on those cases.
I'd point out, again, that there is one report and the 'allegations' of thousands is really supposition. Extrapolating a trend from one data point is, frankly, stupid. We do not know at what level this error in judgment was made, but I would not be surprised if it was at the company level. (My son ran into company level pay problems that took a long time to get sorted out – and an appeal up the chain of command to get the company-level bean counter off of top dead center.)
I'm sure the Army will rectify this – and let the bean counters who caused the problem know exactly how much they appreciate the black eye given to the military.