Army Pay: AWOL

My niece’s husband is serving his second tour of duty with the U.S. Army (3rd ACR) in Iraq. I thought I’d share with blog readers an e-mail she sent to her Congressman, Rep. Joel Hefley, on Thursday about a little difficulty he is having: The Army isn’t paying him.

I’m not usually one to criticize the U.S. Army (no doubt this is in part because I have never been in it), but I do think it is not too much to ask that we actually pay our combat soldiers.

Our niece is doing fine. She has income from her own job and she and her husband, married just one year (long-distance first anniversary), have no children. But, as she told me on the phone tonight, she’s worried about the Army wives who have small children and no income except their Army pay.

Dear Sir:

My husband is currently serving our country in Iraq as of the beginning of March 05. We were due to get out in Feb but we were “stop-lossed.” I am not sure if you are aware of this but the system that they have is so unorganized that they somehow OUT processed him at the end of April and back dated it for February 28th and took back all the money they had paid us in March and mid-month April, and gave us a “no pay due” for the end of April.

So my husband is in Iraq not getting paid and from what I hear from him, unable to get anything accomplished over there to resolve this, and it all has to be taken care of over here, which I am trying to do.

Although they’ve been willing to give me the money in advance until this is resolved, I still feel that someone should be aware of this since half of our troop has ETS dates for this summer. I can’t imagine how much more of a hardship this would be for a family with kids or already in financial distress.

I cannot express how disappointed I am in our “system.” If you are unable help us, please help the other servicemen who are over there putting their lives at stake.

Please feel free to contact me at the provided telephone number…

My niece says Rep. Hefley’s staff was quite sympathetic on the phone today, but it is too soon to say if they can/will help. She also was similarly complimentary of Senator Harry Reid’s staff (her husband is a Nevadan).

I know we don’t pay our soldiers much, but we surely could do better at making sure they actually get their money. Maybe this is one problem that actually could be solved in a bi-partisan manner.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.