There is more to this than they say

UPDATE – From Captain Kin-Shane’s Comments:

When taking leave from a TDY (temporary duty) location, a soldier is normally given a certain amount of airfare allowance to get to his leave destination and he pays the difference between that allowance and the price of the ticket. For example, when I was at Fort Polk in 2001, the Army paid the first $400 for me to fly to Boston. With the tickets costing $471, I got a trip home for $70. Anyone who wanted to go on leave west of Fort Polk (central Louisiana) got a free trip home and then a free trip back to Hawaii. What the Army is doing for OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) is flying everyone FOR FREE to Baltimore, Maryland, and then having them get their own tickets from there to their leave address, probably defraying a lost of that cost up to a certain limit. To address soldiers not being able to afford the tickets: nonsense. Being in a combat zone with incentive pay and no federal income tax, even E-1s are clearing an extra $700 a month. I figured out how much extra I would be paid in such a zone and it works out to almost $1500. This is a shameless attempt to demean the Army and our president. “It seems unfair the government won’t foot the bill to send troops home, after they risk their lives for our country.” Why don’t we all receive Cadillac Escalades for deploying to a combat zone and free mansions in Wellesley for re-enlisting? Because it is our job. We all join knowing what we get paid and what we are expected to do. To recap: government pays for trip from Iraq to MD. Government probably pays most of trip from MD to home. These parents hate our president. Whiny people annoy me.

Soldier must pay for his trip home

We are usually quiet individuals, expressing little about world events and politics, etc. However, we have to stand up and say something now.

Our son-in-law is in the Army, serving our country for several months in Iraq. He was recently authorized to return home for two weeks. We are all grateful for this news! However, there is one catch _ he has to pay for the journey!

How can the government expect him to pay his own airfare? It seems unfair the government won’t foot the bill to send troops home, after they risk their lives for our country. They have had to leave their families struggling emotionally and some financially. Then when they do have the opportunity to come home briefly, they are expected to pay their own way.

Before we fly into an outrage, something I would normally do in a situation like this, let’s see what they are not telling us. Note this section of the letter – authorized to return home for two weeks. What that tells me is he was authorized two weeks leave, and given permission if he wants to return to the US. The tone of the story suggests “he” has performed his rotation, but won’t be sent home without paying for the trip himself. That is not the case. He is granted leave. I am hoping Kin-Shane will weigh in on this and correct any mistakes I have made, but I think this is the first real action where this type of assignment is allowed to take leave in the USA. It is being done to help with morale, etc. But his leave should not be paid for by the US.

What if instead of going home to see his family, he wanted to go to Hawaii for two weeks? Should that be paid for? Or to visit family in Ireland? This is not returning back to home for good, just for leave. Leave travel is not paid for. Trust me, I still will not shop or support Pepboys after allegations that they were firing reservists being called up for duty in Iraq/Afghanistan. They also do not say what airline he would have to take. Does American fly out of Bagdad yet? Is it a $2,000 multi-stop 4 day trip, or is it a military flight back to the states via Air Force that the soldiers have to pay a nominal fee for? I believe soldiers can fly military flights for that fee because without orders, they can not justify it for free. I understand they want to see the son-in-law, they should just be glad that he is given the opportunity to come home for his leave.

~ by kinshay on 2003-10-01.

No Responses Yet to “There is more to this than they say”

  1. It is so easy to disagree here but easier to point out that in the same way Bush Jr has cut benefits to veterans- Marines eat for free unless they are in a military hospital. Look it up. i saw this the other day about a guy sent back and he owed 240 bucks for being in a hospital for a month after being injured in Iraq.

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