Skip to comments.Soldier shot in Iraq billed for missing military gear
Posted on 05/31/2010 9:47:30 PM PDT by AuntB
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Gary Pfleider II served his country for six years before he became a member of the new generation of disabled veterans.
Pfleider, a former Oregon National Guard soldier, was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Iraq in September 2007. He has only vague memories of the event, but now must live with a permanent reminder -- a brace he'll have to wear on his leg for the rest of his life.
"I remember grabbing a hold of my leg, and realizing I had blood on my hands," he said. "And from that point on until I got loaded onto the Stryker was just a big blur."
Three days after he was shot, Pfleider received a Purple Heart.
Almost two years later, he received a bill from the military for missing equipment.
The sum of the bill, which includes interest, is $3,175. It itemizes a list of gear the military issued to Pfleider that did not come back with his unit in 2008. The lists includes clothing items, canteens and grenades.
Pfleider, who now walks with a cane, believes the items were lost after he was flown out of the country for medical treatment. He doesn't believe he should be held responsible for the items, but the military disagrees.
The federal government has been deducting money from his disability check each month to cover the billed costs. And Pfleider said the feds withheld his tax return for the same reason.
Capt. Stephan Bomar with the Oregon National Guard said the bill was issued by Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Pfleider spent a year recovering from his injury. Bomar added it is customary for soldiers in Pfleider's situation to be billed for missing equipment.
"It's one of the processes. That way, we keep good accountability for the equipment," he said.
Bomar said Pfleider should submit a sworn statement explaining his situation and requesting reimbursement.
But Pfleider has already done that. He still has a copy of his sworn statement, which he signed and submitted at the Albany, Oregon armory in February. The former soldier fears his case is lost in a pile of paperwork between Oregon and Washington.
"Honestly, I do. I think it's just sitting somewhere on somebody's desk at Fort Lewis, and they just don't want to mess with it because they don't think it's a big enough issue," he said.
But to Pfleider, who is scheduled to undergo his ninth leg surgery, the delay is an additional source of stress.
"To me, it's my livelihood," he said.
The veteran is still battling with flashbacks, and trying to adjust to civilian life. He said he never thought he'd have to fight the military once he returned home.
"Car going down a road, backfiring -- it still sends me into flashbacks of being over there. But I deal with it, because I know it's part of my life that's never going to leave," he said.
Lewis-McChord officials said they're looking into Pfleider's charges. Bomar said unless the charges are found to be erroneous, Pfleider will still have to pay the full sum.
I found the questionable policy of the military particularly interesting in light of the fact that Senator John McCain (Arizona)is the (R) ranking member of United States Senate Armed Services Committee. Being a bonifide 'war hero', you'd think he'd find the time to know about such policies being approved of by his committee.
Flashback: See the real McCain military voting record here: McCAIN HAS NOT DELIVERED ON HIS PROMISES TO VETERANS McCAIN REPEATEDLY VOTED AGAINST VETERANS HEALTH BENEFITS REPEATEDLY VOTED AGAINST FUNDING FOR THE VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2521019/posts?page=82#82
But then John, the 'maverick', can't be bothered with such mundane tripe about our soldiers because he spends more time campaigning than he does attending to the business of his country and state. It wasn't for nothing that he earned the most votes missed of ANY senator, yes, including Barak Obama. That sad record is here: http://towncriernews.blogspot.com/search?q=Given+that+McCain+has+spent+the+last+ten
But, it's an election year for McCain, and miracles, ABSOLUTE miracles can happen when he's pushed to the conservative edge. Perhaps he will have a campaign trail conversion and start actually caring about those who serve. He's busy bragging these days about getting an amendment passed through his committee to put 6,000 troops on the border.
Now this is particularly curious since the Obama administration is putting the guard on the border to HELP Mexico keep our guns out and NOT to enforce ANY immigration law. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2524000/posts?page=139#139
Flashback: Bill Oreilly has given us the proof that MCCain did NOT want the guard on the border.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: I do not favor using troops because they are not trained for it. They dont have the kind of qualifications necessary. I have strongly favored us using all the technical equipment that our military has including satellites, including aircraft and other technical means.
GOD HAVE MERCY . . . what a travesty of what our country was founded to be.
For the moment, I think our concern needs to be on the shafting of this soldier who obviously served honorably. His treatment by the Army is reprehensible and needs to be publicized but those responsible need to be publicly called out and shamed. As a vet, I find this kind of thinking to be reprehensible and gutless.
Hopefully Juan will get on with his life’s work in Nov. and Sen. Hayworth will get to work.
Thanks to all those who serve and have served, so we may speak freely.
It never ceases to amaze me how poorly the Army can treat its troops.
What a load of crap to expect a man wounded in combat that had to be flown out of a warzone to account for his gear. He’s only had nine operations.
This is typical bureaucratic nonsense, but it’s not new.
I remember reading about a British officer who lost his pistol during the battle of El Alamein worrying about whether he’d be charged for it.
The (ahem) “proper” thing to do is to declare that the property in question was a “combat loss” (destroyed in combat). Then there is no charge for it, and the bureaucracy is happy...
Like I said yesterday in another post about repealing the “don’t ask don’t tell policy”, soldiers have been getting bent over and screwed forever. Uncle Sam is gay that way I guess.
It is his Commands fault that this happened.
Gimme a break you bleeding hearts. rules are rules. apply the rules to all or apply them not at all. If ya don’t like the rule, then change the rule...IN THE PROPER WAY. till then, STUFF IT!
I'll send this article to some news stations and see if there's possibly a patriot among them who will air this story.
Somebody should be horsewhipped over this unspeakable insult to a man who served his Country with honor. :(
B*st*rd coated B*st*rds, with B*st*rd filling!
*= the letter “a” ;)
Next they will try to charge the dead.
Don’t commanding officers pay attention to such things?
I believe the soldiers had a two word phrase that best described this kind of mess in the past. They would usually just laugh and say, “Charlie-Foxtrot.”
Hi, Honey!!! Good to ‘see’ you!
Good lord! They truly are cannon fodder...
Did they charge him for the Ammo he used? May as well have according to this policy. Must be accountable, you know.