National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment Of Iraq War

FURTHER UPDATE: Cong Tim Walz is all over this.

UPDATE: Read the end of this article. The military appears to be kind of claiming that they’ve fixed the problem, but it sounds like they’re claiming it will be fixed, but it may not be fixed yet. It doesn’t read like they’re 100% being honest.

Oh my God. The Bush administration sent these guys to fight for 729 days instead of 730 days, because had they been sent for 730 days they’d have gotten education benefits. My God. Okay, Democrats, you’ve been handed another opportunity to blow up in the GOP’s face their lack of respect for our troops. Let’s see what you do with this. [crickets]

From WCSH6.com, Minnesota:

When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush’s surge.

Casco Bay Ford

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill.

“It’s pretty much a slap in the face,” Anderson said. “I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership… once again failing the soldiers.”

Anderson’s orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard members, were written for 729 days.

Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers would receive those benefits to pay for school.

“Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month,” Anderson said.

Apparently they screwed Iowans too.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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