Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is Not How You Treat Our Servicemen

My son-in-law is a Nuclear Technician in the Navy, in case you weren't aware. He's been in the Navy for awhile now and wondering if he should re-up. The Navy made that decision for him today.

He had a medical condition last year that the Navy deemed not compatible with his being on a sub. So, he was reassigned to desk duty. That resulted in a cut in pay, but he adapted. He no longer has the problem so could be, in theory, sent pretty much anywhere at any time.

Today, he received a letter where the Navy said because his medical condition prohibits him from doing the job he was trained to do (their decision, remember), he needed to reimburse the Navy, retroactively up to reassignment, for the extra pay he got while he was doing the job he trained for. They would deduct $6500 from his paycheck every month until the debt they calculated was paid off. He pointed out that he makes $4400 with housing allowance every month. Oh, no problem. He could simply pay them the additional $2100 along with the $4400. Um...

Let's set aside, for a moment, the fact that I have a vested interest in this. This is flat out wrong. It was not his determination that he was not qualified for duty, it was the Navy's. He did his job up until he went to a doctor because his health wasn't right. He was to just tough it out which, quite possibly, could have resulted in a chronic health problem for the rest of his life? He did the right thing and got treated early. This is how he is repaid for being pro-active about being well?

I'm floored, just floored. These men and women put their lives on the line all over the world to defend the bean counter who made this decision. I've been informed the decision has been appealed and was told, "If they would read their own paperwork, this wouldn't even happen." I believe it. Somewhere, there is someone looking at Rule 85, Paragraph 15, Subsection A, and seeing something that caused him to send out this letter instead of looking at the reasons behind what was done. The disconnect between Person A and Person B might as well be a time-warp for all the communication it appears was done here.

They will be okay for now. The appeals process, as one can imagine, takes a good amount of time. All the documentation will probably get this ridiculous judgment tossed out. But, if the Navy wanted him back, they won't get him.

Is this how we treat people who are our defense? I'm appalled.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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