About 100,000 War Vets Owed Stop-Loss Cash Payments

Rich Blake

A U.S. senator wants to know why more than 100,000 servicemen and women never received thousands of dollars they are owed by the Pentagon after being forced to extend their military tours during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., wrote to the Pentagon Tuesday wanting to know what the military has done to alert the service members that they are eligible for the money. As many as 145,000 men and women, most of them from the Army, were subjected to involuntary extensions of their military obligations starting in 2001 because the Pentagon imposed “stop loss” orders.

Lautenberg initiated legislation that required the Pentagon provide extra compensation to stop-lossed service members. A bill eventually passed last year.

But in the nine months since the special one-year, retroactive, stop-loss compensation program went into effect in October 2009, less than 20 percent of the eligible service members have received the pay, according to Lautenberg, citing Department of Defense figures.

The average amount owed each soldier or service member is between $3,000 and $4,000, according to the Stars and Stripes newspaper which first reported the stop-loss pay lag last month. 

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