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Courtesy of alamostation (Jim) ALLVETS, Inc:

Another example of the Department of Deciet (see why I call them that?) taking care of the troops.

Jim

National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment Of Iraq War

*

Rhonda Erskine , Online Content

Producer

Last Updated: 10/3/2007 5:32:02 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (NBC) -- When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of

the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other

ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as

part of President Bush's surge.

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A

government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have

earned under the GI bill.

"It's pretty much a slap in the face," Anderson said. "I think it was a

scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by

the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers."

Anderson's orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard

members, were written for 729 days.

Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers

would receive those benefits to pay for school.

"Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month,"

Anderson said.

That money would help him pay for his master's degree in public

administration. It would help Anderson's fellow platoon leader, John

Hobot, pay for a degree in law enforcement.

"I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a

deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the

leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us

once we got home," Hobot said.

Both Hobot and Anderson believe the Pentagon deliberately wrote orders

for 729 days instead of 730. Now, six of Minnesota's members of the

House of Representatives have asked the Secretary of the Army to look

into it -- So have Senators Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman.

Klobuchar said the GI money "shouldn't be tied up in red tape," and

Coleman said it's "simply irresponsible to deny education benefits to

those soldiers who just completed the longest tour of duty of any unit

in Iraq."

Anderson said the soldiers he oversaw in his platoon expected that money

to be here when they come home.

"I had 23 guys under my command," Anderson said. "I promised to take

care of them. And I'm not going to end taking care of them when this

deployment is over, and it's not over until this is solved."

The Army did not respond questions Tuesday afternoon.

Senators Klobuchar and Coleman released a joint statement saying the

Army secretary, Pete Geren, is looking into this personally, and they

say Geren asked a review board to expedite its review so the matter

could be solved by next semester.

Minnesota National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson said the

soldiers are "victims of a significant injustice."

NBC

©2007 WCSH6.com/Gannett Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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An old related matter--Many orders for extended temporary duty (Army) were and probably still are written for "not to exceed 179 days." If I remember correctly, just one additional day would have entitled the soldier to Permanent Change of Station benefits such as movement of family members.

I saw many of these orders as a finance clerk and later as a senior finance NCO.

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True statement, as a mininmum, I do believe its all ""big" money related with several intersections, namely, travel, housing, enlistment benefits, tours of duty training requirements and qualifications;requalifications on equipment according to specialty,as well as bonsus's and MWR, etc. etc...

An old related matter--Many orders for extended temporary duty (Army) were and probably still are written for "not to exceed 179 days." If I remember correctly, just one additional day would have entitled the soldier to Permanent Change of Station benefits such as movement of family members.

I saw many of these orders as a finance clerk and later as a senior finance NCO.

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