Soldier Was Charged $700 For His Lost Armor

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Raven, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Raven Registered Senior Member

    Soldier Says He Was Charged for Armor By ALLISON BARKER, Associated Press Writer
    Wed Feb 8, 10:45 AM ET

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A former U.S. soldier injured in Iraq says he was forced to pay $700 for a blood-soaked Kevlar vest that was destroyed after medics removed it to treat shrapnel wounds to his right arm.


    First Lt. William "Eddie" Rebrook IV, 25, of Charleston had to leave the Army because of his injuries. But before he could be discharged last week, he had to scrounge up cash from his buddies to pay for the body armor or face not being discharged for months — all because a supply officer failed to document that the vest had been destroyed more than a year ago as a biohazard.

    "I last saw the (body armor) when it was pulled off my bleeding body while I was being evacuated in a helicopter," Rebrook told The Charleston Gazette for Tuesday's edition. "They took it off me and burned it."

    Rebrook's story spurred action Tuesday from U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va.

    "I've been in touch with his family, and I've already written (Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld) to request that they immediately refund his money and review this horrendous policy," said Rockefeller, who is a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. "I'm shocked that he has been treated this way by our military."

    Byrd questioned Gen. Peter Schoomaker, chief of staff of the Army, on Tuesday during a Senate Armed Services Committee budget hearing in Washington.

    "How can it be that the Defense Department, which is requesting $439 billion in this budget, has to resort to dunning a wounded soldier for $700 to replace a piece of body armor?" Byrd asked.

    Schoomaker called Rebrook's story unusual and promised Byrd to "correct it if there's any truth to it."

    Rockefeller said he first met Rebrook when he was an ROTC cadet at George Washington High School in Charleston and later nominated him to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where he graduated with honors. Rebrook then spent four years on active duty, including six months in Iraq.

    Rebrook's mother, Beckie Drumheler, said she was angry when she learned about the $700 bill. Soldiers who serve their country, those who put their lives on the line, deserve better, she said.

    "He couldn't get out of the Army until he paid it and he had to pay cash," Drumheler said. "My son loved the Army and was proud of serving his country. For any soldier to be treated like this is outrageous."

    Rebrook was standing in the turret of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when a roadside bomb exploded Jan. 11, 2005. The explosion fractured his arm and severed an artery. A Black Hawk helicopter airlifted him to a combat support hospital in Baghdad. He was later flown to a hospital in Germany before being transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

    His arm never completely recovered despite seven operations. He still has range of motion problems and pain.

    After eight months at Fort Hood, Texas, he gathered up his gear to leave. Things went smoothly until officers asked him for his missing body armor. In the past, the Army allowed to soldiers to write memos, explaining the loss and destruction of gear but a new policy requires documentation from the field.

    Rebrook said he tried to get a battalion commander to sign a waiver, but the officer declined. He was told he would have to supply statements from witnesses to verify the body armor was taken from him and burned.

    "First Cavalry Division leadership is going to do everything to ensure this issue is brought to a conclusion that is both in line with procedures that apply to all its soldiers and in the best interest of our veterans who have served so proudly and honorably in Iraq," Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, the division's spokesman at Fort Hood, told the Killeen (Texas) Daily Herald for Wednesday's edition.

    Bleichwehl said soldiers are not held financially responsible for any equipment lost, damaged or destroyed in combat operations.

    Rebrook's story has prompted donations from residents. A local radio station raised $700 within 90 minutes Tuesday, and one woman dropped off a $200 check by his mother's home, said Rebrook's stepfather, Charles Drumheler.

    "I thought that was pretty nice that people care," Charles Drumheler said.

    Rebrook's father, Ed Rebrook, a Charleston lawyer, said while the donations were appreciated, his son did not plan to accept them.
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  3. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    Ugh, this is what I miss the absolute least about being in the military. There is nothing more annoying than returning home from a combat deployment to have some pencil-dicked desk-driving supply weenie fuck up your paperwork and cause you a shitton of hassle for it.

    I recieved an official letter of reprimand one time for telling my squadron's SUPPO that if he didn't LOD the backpack radio one of my guys reported as broken after he fell from a goddamn helicopter 20 feet off the ground, and save the poor corporal some grief (and around $30,000), I'd come around the counter and beat the shit out of him.

    Anyway, glad to see he got some publicity though. His problems should be solved now (as far as this issue goes).
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  5. Jaybee from his cast Banned Banned

    Fucking leeching soldiers - we pay for their comfortable accomodation, their nutritious food, special schools for their kids, their wives flights out when they can't come back, beer on Friday nights....

    The military are a bunch of leeching scum. They SHOULD be damn well charged when they waste more of MY money.

    And they CANNOT say they're being forced into this life - there's no conscription, they signed up voluntarily. All they know how to do, when they're not blowing MY money, is kill and die. Well, they're in Iraq, at least someone else is getting rid of them for us.

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  7. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    Man, that's bullshit. Not to mention a lot of soldiers already shell out their own money to get decent body armor and other equipment they're not provided.

    - N
  8. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    You seem angry. So angry, in fact, that you obviously didn't read the article.
  9. Cottontop3000 Death Beckoned Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, it's not enough that you take a bullet or two for the motherland, but you must also keep track of your equipment as your blood gushes out. If I had a dollar for everytime some idiocy like this happened in the U.S. Army while I was active, I'd be running Microsoft today.
  10. Jaybee from his cast Banned Banned

    If a fallacy seems 'obviously' truthful to you, there's a glaring flaw in your logic.

    You perceived ONE thing right - I AM angry. Those military idiots are the most expensive insurance policy we pay, and it's damn poor value for money. It's about time we claw back some value for our tax money and made them spend their afternoons doing unskilled civilian work for which there is a shortage of labour.

    For example, many experienced troops have extensive man-tracking skills; I think they should be seconded in the afternoons to the Environmental Department of the nearest city, as dog-catchers. That would be a good starting point back into civilian life for a grunt with a few years military experience.

  11. Thor "Pfft, Rebel scum!" Valued Senior Member

    Well the policy is a good one, real deal equipment is highly sort after on sites such as eBay especially the brand new stuff. Someone could make a pretty penny if they sold said armour. In fact, most of current real deal stuff you see on eBay is either stolen or damaged in some way. Anything else is a knock-off.

    It's a shame that such a beaurocratical oversight can cause such misery for people. But it seems that this episode will come to a good ending as he did damage the armour in combat thus not held accountable for its loss. It was the error of a shineyarse that should be looked at, damn them!
  12. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    So why not vote for politicians who favor cuts in military spending rather than screwing the guys who do the dirty work? You have a perfectly valid opinion, but you're going about it all wrong. Punishing the soldiers isn't going to do a damn thing (and they have to deal with enough as it is). Starting at the source and working down will.

    Also, if you had read the article, you would have seen this is a US Army soldier. Are you living in the US? Your profile suggests otherwise.

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