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Recieves Purple Heart then billed for missing equipment

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Chee-to, May 29, 2010.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Soldier shot in Iraq billed for missing military gear

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/95168184.html

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Gary Pfleider II served his country for six years before he became a member of the new generation of disabled veterans.

    Pfleider, a former Oregon National Guard soldier, was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Iraq in September 2007. He has only vague memories of the event, but now must live with a permanent reminder -- a brace he'll have to wear on his leg for the rest of his life.

    "I remember grabbing a hold of my leg, and realizing I had blood on my hands," he said. "And from that point on until I got loaded onto the Stryker was just a big blur."

    Three days after he was shot, Pfleider received a Purple Heart.

    Almost two years later, he received a bill from the military for missing equipment.

    The sum of the bill, which includes interest, is $3,175. It itemizes a list of gear the military issued to Pfleider that did not come back with his unit in 2008. The lists includes clothing items, canteens and grenades.

    Pfleider, who now walks with a cane, believes the items were lost after he was flown out of the country for medical treatment. He doesn't believe he should be held responsible for the items, but the military disagrees.

    The federal government has been deducting money from his disability check each month to cover the billed costs. And Pfleider said the feds withheld his tax return for the same reason.

    Capt. Stephan Bomar with the Oregon National Guard said the bill was issued by Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Pfleider spent a year recovering from his injury. Bomar added it is customary for soldiers in Pfleider's situation to be billed for missing equipment.

    "It's one of the processes. That way, we keep good accountability for the equipment," he said.

    Bomar said Pfleider should submit a sworn statement explaining his situation and requesting reimbursement.

    But Pfleider has already done that. He still has a copy of his sworn statement, which he signed and submitted at the Albany, Oregon armory in February. The former soldier fears his case is lost in a pile of paperwork between Oregon and Washington.

    "Honestly, I do. I think it's just sitting somewhere on somebody's desk at Fort Lewis, and they just don't want to mess with it because they don't think it's a big enough issue," he said.

    But to Pfleider, who is scheduled to undergo his ninth leg surgery, the delay is an additional source of stress.

    "To me, it's my livelihood," he said.

    The veteran is still battling with flashbacks, and trying to adjust to civilian life. He said he never thought he'd have to fight the military once he returned home.

    "Car going down a road, backfiring -- it still sends me into flashbacks of being over there. But I deal with it, because I know it's part of my life that's never going to leave," he said.

    Lewis-McChord officials said they're looking into Pfleider's charges. Bomar said unless the charges are found to be erroneous, Pfleider will still have to pay the full sum.
     
  2. zeezee

    zeezee nowheresville Member

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    LOL! You have got to love bean counters, especially when they act as stupidly as these have. Maybe we need to send a few of them over and see how our United States fighting men are living?
     
  3. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    Hopefully they will straighten that mess out.....big mistake.....
     
  4. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I wonder if the Haliburton Corporation was ever billed for the missing BILLION in US currency that they "lost in accounting" in Iraq. They ought to cover for soldiers caught up in this kind of, uh, stuff. My blood boils whenever I read of soldiers getting screwed by their own government---and they cannot even sue! Why can't Senator Wyden rattle some cages at Ft. Lewis? Congressman DeFazio certainly would if HE knew what was going on with this case.........................elsullo :cool:
     
  5. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Corvallis Active Member

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    Very good point re: Halliburton.

    A lot more "bang for the buck" there, too!
     
  6. 1970camaroRS

    1970camaroRS Mill Creek, WA Member

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    So, the army is saying that soldiers are still responsible for items left behind when they are shot and medivac'd out of the country? I guess he should have known better than to get shot in the first place. And furthermore, he should have kept all of his issued equipment with him when he was flown out. I'm sure they would have given him time to go back to his tent and grab all his gear while he was bleeding to death. I also hear Army hospitals really love it when you bring your grenades along with you so you don't lose them.

    (lots of sarcasim there)
     
  7. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    It is all par for the course. All BS that the "bean counters" as was stated conjured up. The ones that sit stateside.
    I remember an MP at Pendelton said that while brig chasing if he shot someone trying to escape he is charged for the round <LOL>
    True.........
     
  8. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Kinda makes me wonder: Where can I send $5.

    Only 634 more people to do so..
     
  9. e28rusty

    e28rusty Newberg Member

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    I saw him on the local news tonight, hopefully he can get this thrown out. I understand the need for our guys to keep track of their stuff, but this crap is pushing it too far.
     
  10. skud_dusty

    skud_dusty Salem, OR Active Member

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    I didn't realize a soldier's life was worth $3,175.

    Time to write some letters, this crap shouldn't fly.
     
  11. 1970camaroRS

    1970camaroRS Mill Creek, WA Member

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    Some Senator or Congressman looking for good press will make a big show of righting this wrong...now that it's in the public's eye.
     
  12. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I'd take the feds to court...I'm sure his leg is worth more than 3K to a civil jury.

    "Sure, I'll pay for your 3K in equipment if I can have about 300K for my leg."

    Tards...how you going to bill a man for gear that was probably ripped off him in a helicopter on his way to Germany to get treated?
     
  13. parsons_12b

    parsons_12b LaPine Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Unfortiantly is is alot more common then you guys might think I spend a good part of every week trying to track down gear for Soldiers that they either turned in and did not recieve the proper documentation or gear that was left when they left country. I my self had a ruck sack with about $1000 worth of stuff go missing when I came back from Afghanistan. I was told to put it on a truck wehen we were at FT Carson so I could pick it up in Oregon that was june 2007. It was found last december in a box in somebody's office up in portland. The process for this guy to get his cleared from this debt is going to be difficult it should not be but it will be eventauly work its self out I have faith in that.
     
  14. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I still have a missing footlocker of crap that was suppossed to make it's way to Ft Bragg from A-stan as well...haulk that one off to a field loss I guess!
     
  15. sprice37

    sprice37 Albany Oregon Active Member

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    Completely FU**ED! I sawe this on the news and was completely appalled. This is a bungh of BS