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During the last 1/2 hour of the show, she spoke with sole surviving son Army Specialist Jason Hubbard and Congressman Devin Nunes about this:
Forced to leave the combat zone after his two brothers died in the Iraq war, Army Spc. Jason Hubbard faced another battle once he returned home: The military cut off his family’s health care, stopped his G.I. educational subsidies and wanted him to repay his sign-up bonus. It wasn’t until Hubbard petitioned his local Congressman that he was able to restore some of his benefits. Now that Congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes, plans to join three other lawmakers in introducing a bill that would ensure basic benefits to all soldiers who are discharged under the sole survivor policy. The rule is a holdover from World War II meant to protect the rights of service people who have lost a family member to war. “I felt as if in some ways I was being punished for leaving even though it was under these difficult circumstances,” Hubbard told The Associated Press. “The situation that happened to me is not a one-time thing. It’s going to happen to other people, and to have a law in place is going to ease their tragedy in some way.”
Jason Hubbard was 500 meters away in another helicopter when his brother Nathan’s helicopter crashed. The audio of Inga Barks’ interview of Jason and Congressman Nunes is a must listen:
This Memorial Day weekend, please call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office at (202) 225-4965, and leave her a polite message asking her to schedule a vote on the Hubbard Act. (The bill has 303 sponsors in the House) This is a wrong that must be righted now.
Note: I called Speaker Pelosi’s office and the voice mailbox was full. Please try again tomorrow or put this on your calendars for Tuesday morning to do.
Update: (bumped to the top from last night) I cross-posted this on Free Republic and would like to respond to a couple of comments. Here first are their comments:
“Something about this seems to be a bit off track. I spent 22 yrs in the military and have first hand experience with the “Sole Surviving Son or Daughter” rules. Unless things have changed since Dessert Storm this story needs checking into for these reasons: 1) The rule does/did not prohibit the sole survivor from serving in a combat zone, but allowed him/her to to be exempted, only IF an exemption was requested. 2) The rule does/did not require that the survivor be released from active duty, merely reassigned to duties outside the combat zone. and 3) If he requested to be discharged from active duty he would have been briefed about the potential loss of benefits, and would have been informed that failure to complete his reenlistment contract could result in forfeiture of part of any bonus.
“Hopefully I have my panties all wadded up for nothing and I have just misunderstood the details of the situation.”
Libery 2007 responded to jstaff:
“you are right, what you have stated is true. I suspect they offered him a discharge, if thats the case, its breach of contract you have to pay back your bonus.”
Here now is my reply (also posted there):
I spent 20 years in the military but what you or I did is not the point. Jason Hubbard joined to pick up his brother Jared’s rifle, spent 13 months as an infantry scout in Iraq, and served with honor. I contend that is should not matter if he “merely” was a supply clerk at some repo-depot in the states. Supply clerks deploy (and a good many have), fought, sacrificed, and died in this and all our wars.
Jason paid into the GI bill and the Hubbard family paid dearly. Jason can no longer deploy, lead or fight. The honorable discharge he elected to take is doubly so; he got “the hell out of the way” and made way for a warrior.
I think we owe the Jasons — the sole survivors of war — more than words of gratitude; we owe those who gave so much the ‘Hubbard Act.’ It is the least we can and should do.