asheris: (Default)
Add another one onto the list... I personally know two people who were convinced to sign up for the National Guard back in 2002 or so because the signing bonus was so good, and they were both looking for a second job to help support their young families. They were assured that they wouldn't be sent overseas, that their specialties were more needed here.

Once they signed, the bonuses turned out to be a tiny fraction of what they were told they would get. Both eventually ended up serving in Iraq. (Different units, different recruiters, etc.)

Both were former military, one Army, one Navy. They knew they might have to take some peacekeeping duty somewhere. However, they never expected to be sent into foreign combat, in the National Guard. (That not what the Guard's for, after all.)

After a year of Guard service, having completed his Reserve time and after having had so many promises broken, the army guy had filed for his discharge papers. A couple months later, he got an envelope with two letters - no discharge papers, but one letter saying he was being transferred to another unit, and the second telling him his new unit was being sent to Iraq, and that he was to report for shipping out a week from that date.

Thankfully both came home physically intact, but there's been no support at all for them for any other issues they've had. Stress, PTSD, re-adjustment to civilian life - nothing.

And so, on to yet another patriotic kid who's been screwed by BushCo:

My Army Nephew - Disillusioned Patriot
Excerpt:
For two years, my nephew proudly served the U.S. Military and advanced quickly while receiving commendations for his work and service. As he was ready to end his two-year stint and return to civilian life, the government (via Rumsfeld) informed my nephew that they were going to have to pull a stop loss maneuver on him and keep him for an extra year, even though this contract clearly stated he had signed on for two years only.

Dutifully, he served the military with distinction. He never made any waves or questioned the policy openly, though in his emails and letters to his family, you could read his disappointment. He didn't let that get in the way of being a loyal American soldier.

When he was finally discharged, he was informed that his enlistment bonus would be substantially less than stated in his contract. We all have to make our sacrifices during wartime, he was told. I guess him giving up family, friends, college and an extra year of his life, and fighting a questionable war wasn't sacrifice enough.

Still, he accepted it and returned to civilian life at least knowing that he could pursue his dream of going to college and not having to rely on his mother for the funds to pay his tuition, books and incidentals. Little did we know that this would all change this past weekend.

My nephew received a notice in the mail that the U.S. government won't be picking up the tab for his tuition as promised this semester and probably not for any other semester in the near future. "There is no more money," the letter pretty much said in clear language. Despite the promises and assurances that the government would be there for my nephew if my nephew was there for the government, his college dream is in jeopardy.

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