Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Injured War Vets Must Pay Signing Bonuses Back

From the "This Can't Possibly Be True but It Is" Department, Steve Benen passes along news that the Department of Defense is demanding that Iraq war veterans pay back signing bonuses they received on the ground that they didn't stay in the service for as long their signing contracts required. Fair enough, you say? Of course -- except that some of these veterans can't serve out their contracts because of injuries they suffered in Iraq.

Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire, a Democrat, is pushing legislation to rectify the problem, which was apparently uncovered by the Dole-Shalala Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors. That's all well and good, but just one question: Did it really take a presidential commission -- rather than, say, a single conscientious employee at the Pentagon -- to say that this is a stupid practice that needs to be stopped?

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