Senators Say Medically-Discharged Troops Should Not Be Penalized
U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) introduced an amendment to the 2009 Budget that would create a reserve fund to guarantee that veterans who are wounded in combat are able to receive full payment of bonuses and incentives.
"Tens of thousands of troops have been injured in Iraq with many of them struggling to support themselves and their families," said Senator Casey. "They gave us their word that they would serve and protect us at any cost. The very least we can do is to honor the promises we made to them by providing them with the benefits they deserve and have earned."
"Our young men and women serve with incredible courage and bravery. Their enlistment represents a commitment to serve and protect their country," Sessions said. "In return, the United States makes a commitment to them. Providing the compensation that they were promised will ensure that the government fulfills its end of the bargain."
"Our injured servicemembers have paid a dear price in defense of our nation, and we must take extra steps to guarantee that they receive the respect they deserve and the benefits to which they're entitled. This measure will ensure that our wounded warriors' sacrifices are not repaid with insult on top of injury," said Senator Clinton.
In December of 2007, Senators Sessions, Clinton and Casey introduced the Wounded Warrior Bonus Equity Act which requires payment of remaining bonus entitlement to servicemembers within 90 days of retirement or separation due to a combat-related injury. The bill was introduced in response to a report of an injured servicemember from Pennsylvania being asked to repay his enlistment bonus. It would also direct the Department of Defense to perform an internal audit to identify former servicemembers who have been affected by this practice.