Monday, October 08, 2007

Gotta Love George and the Boys

A shameful way to 'support the troops'
10.06.07 -- 10:05AM
By Steve Benen

The 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard recently ended a 22-month tour of duty in Iraq, the longest deployment of any ground-combat unit in the Armed Forces. Many of its members returned home, looking forward to using education benefits under the GI bill.

For example, John Hobot, a platoon leader, said, "I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home."

It's not working that way. The Guard troops have been told that in order to be eligible for the education benefits they expect, they had to serve 730 days in Iraq. They served 729.

Nearly half the members of one of the longest serving U.S. military units in Iraq are not eligible for a more generous military educational benefit, with some falling one day short of eligibility. [...]

All 2,600 of the soldiers, who returned this year from Iraq, are eligible for money for school under the GI Bill. But nearly half discovered they weren't eligible for a more generous package of benefits available to other soldiers.

Minnesota's congressional delegation is apoplectic, and the Army has vowed to look into the matter, but the troops are understandably suspicious that they were deliberately brought home after 729 days so the Pentagon could deny them GI Bill benefits.

Keep an eye on this one.

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