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It's time to change Pentagon regulations

Posted: January 7, 2009 8:10 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2009 4:30 a.m.
Sometimes I think there is a digressive unit within the Pentagon charged with dreaming up regulations designed to aggravate our military forces and veterans.

In March 2008, the Pentagon issued a change in regulations significantly narrowing the definition of combat disabilities. The Pentagon stated that disability benefits should be higher for military personnel wounded in combat versus those injured in non-combat situations.

Two recent cases point out the absurdity of the new regulation. Sgt. Lori Meshell suffered a shattered hip and back injuries while diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq.

Since she was not hit by shrapnel, the Pentagon ruled her injuries were not combat-related and she was not entitled to about $1,200 per month in benefits.

Cpl. James Dixon experienced a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip, and hearing loss from roadside bomb and mine explosions in Iraq, and his case was ruled non-combat related.

This regulation has to be changed to classify all injuries experienced by military personnel in war zones as combat related.

I state the preceding comments as a former PO2(E-5) and LT(O-3), U.S. Navy.


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