Skip to comments.Army bureaucracy keeps injured soldiers in uniform even after enlistment expires
Posted on 10/25/2009 8:11:30 PM PDT by Saije
It's an all-volunteer Army. But there were days when Andrew Harriman felt like a draftee.
The Largo man signed up for a three-year Army hitch. Harriman, 26, gets out next month three years, five months and 13 days after his enlistment expired.
Not that he's counting.
Harriman, whose leg was shot in Iraq, found his Army stint prolonged by a program created to ensure soldiers get the best medical care for their wounds. But critics say the program can sometimes delay discharge long after any medical necessity to do so.
An Army spokesman said it was in Harriman's best interest to stay in the Army to get medical care, though the Army acknowledges he spent a year longer on "medical hold" than the average.
"It was just stupid," Harriman said in an interview at his parents' Largo home earlier this week. "If it was in the soldier's best interest, I don't know what soldier they were talking about. It wasn't me."
***Harriman had already been caught up in the Army's stop-loss policy. That allows the extension of enlistment if a scheduled discharge is within 90 days of the deployment of a soldier's unit.
So instead of being discharged as scheduled on June 12, 2006, he was sent to Iraq.
He was in Iraq when four bullets accidentally fired by another U.S. soldier shattered his lower left leg on March 26, 2007.
Harriman, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., endured nine operations, the last of which was in December 2007.
He quickly recovered without even a limp.
Harriman repeatedly asked the Army to discharge him. He said he was always promised it was coming soon. Meanwhile, the Army put him up in a spartan hotel at Bragg for two years.
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
You are wrong. The soldier is still entitled to care and will get it. My dad had his enlistment extended this way back in the 50’s when he busted his leg.
He still was entitled to care after discharge till this day.
“You are wrong. The soldier is still entitled to care and will get it.”
Then why wouldn’t the Army let this guy out?
Ok - I admit that my “spidey sense” pricks up whenever I hear “Silver Star” “Medal of Honor” etc. We actually had a SOB arrested under the Stolen Valor law here a couple of weeks ago.
However, I found the following:
Spc. Andrew S. Harriman. Harriman was a platoon Medic.
On March 5, he was shot multiple times while running to help injured soldiers. Machine gun rounds hit his body armor and medical bag. Much of his medical supplies were destroyed. He applied two tourniquets and an IV on a man whose femoral arteries had been severed, all while taking on fire.
That said, Med. Hold has been a disgrace and paperwork nightmare for years. It needs to be fixed NOW!
“The Largo man signed up for a three-year Army hitch.”
Wrong...you sign for an eight year contract usually a four year active and a four year inactive hitch or a combo that equals eight.
And so if someone gets stop lossed, that is part of the contract.
But if he is wounded, better he stay in the Army care than get dumped into the VA quagmire.
And I say that as a disabled vet and a former VA employee.
Like I said, he is getting care and so did my father, back in the 50’s.
“Like I said, he is getting care...”
The Army’s justification for making him stay in was that he needed the care. This would mean that the care he’d get once he was discharged is apparently not available (which you say isn’t the case and that’s probably right) OR it’s not as good (according to another poster). That should be fixed. He shouldn’t have to stay past his discharge date just to get decent care — which everyone seemed to agree he didn’t really need anyway after a certain point but he was caught in the red tape machine.
The Army has to make sure they are at maximum level of rehabilitation, meaning they are no longer going to benefit from rehabilitative services before they begin the medical evaluation board (MEB)/physical evaluation board (PEB) process. Just went through this with my husband who was finally medically retired at the end of March, approximately 1 year after beginning the process. His rehabilitation went much longer than that, but the docs did not institute the MEB process until he was at that plateau where any additional rehab was not going to be of benefit. With repeated surgeries on his leg and I’m assuming extended physical therapy, that is probably the reason for the delay in his exit from the Army because of what I said above; the Army will make sure there is no further rehab or medical care need and the soldier is stable before they institute the medical retirement/discharge procedures for the most part.
I take it you have never been to a VA doctor or hospital?
That is what government care is and what Obama wants for the rest of us. Care on active duty is much better and more controlled than what you get on the outside.
“I take it you have never been to a VA doctor or hospital?”
I’ve spent quite a bit of time at several diferent VA hospitals tending to my now deceased husband, USMC, 1964-1968.
I am sorry for your loss. You should know the answer to this already then.
“You should know the answer to this already then.”
A VA doctor saved his life on more than one occasion. Not really interested in trashing them. And the point of the article wasn’t about that anyway. It was about an Army soldier who was stop-lossed, sent to Iraq, seriously wounded, recovered and then couldn’t get through the paperwork to get his discharge. If one believes his story, and I don’t know why I wouldn’t.
Its been explained to you more than once. Its obvious you don’t want to understand.
My son is out, but he still doesn’t have the paperwork. The Army is having a very hard time with paperwork logistics. In my son’s case, it has to do with his injuries, although at this point, he feels he is completely recovered and is working and back in school. Paperwork snafus are a big issue. Think about the school assistance funds that were/are not being sent on time.
“Its been explained to you more than once. Its obvious you dont want to understand.”
In other words, you’re calling the soldier a liar. Nice.
I’ve heard of you all-knowing, self-righteous Free Republic members that specialize in trying to drive people away. This is the first time I’ve run into one here though.
Unless you’re a moderator, don’t respond. I don’t wish to engage you in conversation.
I never called the soldier a liar. I told you that what he experienced has been going on since the 50’s as far as keeping them on active duty till medically cleared.
Others have also reported the same.
You obviously have issues and either cannot read or just make up crap as you go.
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