War stressful enough without U.S. soldiers having to fight for pay What others say

Posted: Monday, December 08, 2003

A recent General Accounting Office report found that in a survey of Army National Guard soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, 450 of 481 soldiers had trouble getting paid or receiving certain benefits.

One soldier reportedly was asked to submit documents to get his housing allowance and was advised that everything would be worked out. When he returned home, however, he was told it was too late to get the money. Another soldier was dispatched on a four-day trip through dangerous territory to try to straighten out pay mix-ups. In another case, 34 soldiers were mistakenly told they owed the government about $48,000 each.

Serving one's country during wartime is a great enough sacrifice. Soldiers should not have the added burden of wondering if they will get a paycheck. ...

The government must immediately correct these problems. With trouble spots growing around the world, it will be hard enough trying to entice people to serve their country. But what will make it harder still is the belief that when they do sign up, they may have to fight for America and fight for America to pay them.

The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y., - Nov. 28

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