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.
Has anyone sent this to Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity? Ill bet they can get these charges taken off this mans account.
INDEED. MARXIST STOOGES PRANCING ABOUT D.C.
THE TREASONOUS CONGRESS CRITTERS ALLOWING THIS TO GO ON OUGHT TO COUGH UP ALL THE FUNDS TAKEN FROM THESE MILITARY PATRIOTS.
WHAT TREASONOUS IDIOCY. GRRRRR.
“Has anyone sent this to Bill OReilly and Sean Hannity? Ill bet they can get these charges taken off this mans account.”
Thanks, please do, the more of us that send it, the better the chance they’ll see it.
Sending it now.
What on earth does John McCain have to do with a soldier’s worthless commanders?
best post of the month. VERY well put B.
when i got my issue at ft dix, i KNEW that i had to return all that crap or else i would get in trouble. so what i did is basically my best at avoiding using any item that wasnt necessary. i place all my gear in a locker and sealed it shut.
at the end of my deployment i returned everything to the unit. nothing was missing. i might have been a little colder, or without using some items but damn it if i wound up getting a “no pay due” on my check
The soldier here does the same and submits a statement to the Army that his gear was lost due to enemy action. Case closed.
I know this happens but it isn’t right.
The article says “The lists includes clothing items, canteens and grenades.”
GRENADES! Are they charging him for the ammo he used and the bandages used on his wound too?
I wonder how McCain paid for that jet he lost.
What probably happened:
1. His platoon Sgt did not turn in his equipment; dividing it among the platoon.
2. His platoon Sgt actually DID turn in the equipment, but;
a. the paperwork got lost, or screwed up.
b. a corrupt supply sergeant “lost” the paperwork to forward some larcenous plan of his own.
My guess is 2b. I had a similar scam worked on me, involving being charged for a month’s leave I hadn’t taken.
Secy of Defense Gates is supposed to be so supportive of the troops. Time for him to get off his stupid ass and fix this, fast.
Obama Advisor Gen. Jones is useless.
Obama is useless. Biden is useless. So are the congressmen/women and senators in Washington State.
DOD is being emasculated by political correctness and weirdness. SO is the Navy. Just ask any submariner.
Hopefully the Marines will tell Obie to stuff it.
If you can’t kill pirates, why capture them?
Boy am I pissed.
Oh, this is going to be interesting.
BTW, IBTZ. (Unless that was /sarc, in which case you really needed the tag.)
Paperwork sh#t happens. Always has. Always will.
Nowadays, it's worse because mindless computers are handling the paperwork.
He’s got to get a 15-6 investigation started. When a Soldier is shot, his equipment is dumped at the unit or at the hospital due to the blood making it a potential biohazard. That’s just SOP. Obviously someone (cough S4 cough) didn’t do the proper paperwork on the loss and this guy is paying the price. An investigation will get his sworn statement, his commander’s sworn statment, the SIGACT of his being shot, his record of his hospital stay, and the theater SOP that I mentioned above. Any reasonable investigator will see it and a field grade should sign off on it. Done and done.
This guy’s CO or First Sergeant can’t take care of this? Man, how things have changed. Wasn’t like this when I was in with Reagan as C-in-C. I hope everyone else in his unit is aware of how their chain-of-command is treating them.
I wonder how long this has been policy - or is it just the policy of one National Guard. When I was medivaced 42 years ago (ancient history) all field gear was taken from us at the hospital and piled in a room.
I went on a FTX when stationed in South Korea. One of the pads on my carrying gear wore through and was destroyed because the strapping would not stay tight.
My buddy threw a folded cot into the back of a truck and broke the back window of the cab.
Guess which damage was written off as normal and who had to pay?
They were going to deduct the cost of my worn through gear from my pay. I can’t remember what they were going to charge me, but I couldn’t afford it.
So, I went to the street markets in Itaewon, found the exact same gear for sale cheap, and turned that in.
You could find just about any of the current military gear in those markets.
Oh, well, any veteran knows that "nothing is too good for the troops" can be said very ironically.
To state the obvious, this does not inspire confidence in the armed forces and the people who run them. Is this just te Oregon National Guard, or do other National Guards do this?
What next? BYOA - bring your own ammo? Buy a ticket for the flight to Iraq/Afghanistan or that ride in the tank? HUMVEEs with taxi meters?
Agree, having been in the military I can say this...If they wanted to do something about this bad enough, they would have. All it takes is the right command section with big enough balls to make this right.
Right now, it looks like shaming them into it is about the only thing that has a chance of fixing this.
Just my rhetorical question for the day: How in the hell is a trooper being evac’ed supposed to keep all of his “gear” with him when the medical personnel are tossing it aside so they can do their job?
“To state the obvious, this does not inspire confidence in the armed forces and the people who run them. Is this just te Oregon National Guard, or do other National Guards do this?”
I don’t know, Clintonfatigued. I did hear another story similar to this one a few weeks ago, but don’t remember the details.
Thank you for specifying ... I was starting to get offended.
He left the battlefield in his gear and hit the ramp at Ramstein wearing a hospital gown. I'm pretty sure he didn't make a stop at FEDEX to ship his gear home.
What utter bullshit! This story PISSES ME OFF!
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