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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How Bushco Supports the Troops

Two stories from a dailykos diary (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/19/83118/802)

1. from The News Tribune

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle).
The bonuses were offered in January to Active Guard and Reserve and military technician soldiers who were serving overseas. In April, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs ordered the bonuses stopped, Murray said.

"This is outrageous," the senator said in a telephone interview. "It makes me angry that this administration has broken another promise to our troops."

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, confirmed the bonuses had been canceled, saying they violated Pentagon policies because they duplicated other programs. She said Guard and Reserve members would be eligible for other bonuses...

Murray, a leading Capitol Hill critic of management of the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, said she didn't know why the bonuses were dropped but suspected it was connected to the tight federal budget.

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and

2. from The News Tribune (10/16) (Tacoma, WA)

For Injured U.S. Troops, 'Financial Friendly Fire'

His hand had been blown off in Iraq, his body pierced by shrapnel. He could not walk. Robert Loria was flown home for a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he tried to bear up against intense physical pain and reimagine his life's possibilities.

The last thing on his mind, he said, was whether the Army had correctly adjusted his pay rate -- downgrading it because he was out of the war zone -- or whether his combat gear had been accounted for properly: his Kevlar helmet, his suspenders, his rucksack.

At his home near Middletown, N.Y., Robert Loria plays a keyboard. He lost his left hand in a bombing in Iraq.

But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages and then, as he prepared to leave the service, hit him with a $6,200 debt. That was just before last Christmas, and several lawmakers scrambled to help. This spring, a collection agency started calling. He owed another $646 for military housing.

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On the PBS documentary show, Frontline - The Torture Factor, you can see another way this criminal administration is injuring people - both those who are tortured and, in many cases, those who are forced to torture.

How many outrages will it take for "values voters" to get it?

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