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Pentagon Forcing Wounded Soldiers to Repay Bonuses

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Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) revealed the Pentagon is telling wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan repay bonuses as big as $10,000 for not finishing their service commitment.

"They're shocked and there's a sense of betrayal," Schumer said at a news conference Sunday in Manhattan. "Everyone knows the Army is a huge agency and sometimes the left arm doesn't know what the right hand is doing but ... this one tops the cake in terms of its unbelievability."

The issue surfaced earlier this month when a soldier who was partially blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq told media outlets that the Army asked him to repay $2,800 of his $7,500 enlistment bonus because he had only completed about a year of his three-year service.

Former Pfc. Jordan Fox, 21, of Pittsburgh, received the bill in late October and a week later received a notice that he could be charged interest if he didn't make a payment within 30 days.

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The Army says Fox's case is an "isolated incident" and a simple clerical error. But at his press conference Senator Schumer said many New York veterans have called his office and reported similar problems.

Wounded veterans whose bonuses have been revoked can call the Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline at 800-984-8523.

Did you know?

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The Pentagon reports the grand total of U.S. killed, wounded, injured, and ill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars reached nearly 67,000 at the end of July 2007.

How well do you know your facts about U.S. veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan? Take the War Comes Home "Did You Know?" Quiz and find out!

by Aaron Glantz, Author How America Lost Iraq

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Pacifica radio network reporter Aaron Glantz is author of the new book "How America Lost Iraq" (Tarcher/Penguin). More information at www.warcomeshome.org

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