Just when you thought the feds couldn't screw war veterans any more than they already have
, the government has come along with yet another callous gimmick.
On November 30, Democratic Congressional candidate Bill O'Neill, a Vietnam Veteran whose son has done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, alerted the media that the Defense Department has been billing wounded soldiers -- asking them to refund their enlistment bonuses if their injuries prevent them from completing their contracts. "You don't have to have served your country to be offended by a policy like this," O'Neill says. "When a soldier is injured in the line of duty we are all wounded. To me this is an insult."
The VA already had been criticized for delaying and denying treatment for injured veterans returning from Iraq. Now it appears they're actually charging them for their injuries, a move many have compared to firing a guy right before Christmas, only 4,345 times meaner.
Congress has responded by proposing a bill that would bar the federal government for seeking such a refund. But on the list of 219 co-sponsors, O'Neill's congressional opponent, Steve LaTourette (R-Any Place Big Enough to Fit Him, His Pointy Tail, and His Pitchfork), is nowhere to be found.
"Why is it that Steve LaTourette will vote consistently against efforts to bring accountability to this war, but he has so far failed to cosponsor this critical bill for those serving our country?" O'Neill says. "Northeast Ohio -- and the men and women serving our country -- deserve better."
On December 3, O'Neill started a petition drive asking LaTourette to finally support the bill. You can sign it here
. Or you can visit him at his congressional office in Painesville.
Which ever mode of revenge you prefer. -- Denise Grollmus