Injury In the Line of Duty…or not?

April 11, 2015

Submitted by:  Veronica Coffin

purple-heartBy: T F Stern

When an individual puts on a uniform in the service of his community or country, either as a fireman, police officer or military serviceman we recognize the uniform perhaps more than the individual.  If they get injured while in our service it’s our moral duty to take care of them.

An article at the Fox News website by Catherine Herridge, Fort Hood shooting victim denied benefits, despite Purple Heart decision pointed out that a military board has denied benefits to a soldier who was shot during the Ft. Hood terrorist attack.

You may recall the Obama administration pressured the military into calling the shooting “work place violence” rather than classifying the shooting as a terrorist event “even though the evidence showed Hasan was emailing the Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack”.

But that’s not all…the administrators of our military, those charged with looking after our servicemen who put the uniform on each day in defense of our nation took it a step further.

“MAJ Hasan has been charged with criminal activity, but has not been adjudicated a terrorist. Therefore, the clear preponderance of evidence does not support that the injuries sustained were the direct result of armed conflict,” the letter said.

I wonder what planet these administrators are from; really!  Getting shot six times isn’t the result of armed conflict?  Must have been one heck of a game of Tidily Winks those soldiers at Fort Hood were playing.

Putting aside whether or not the injuries were the result of an attack carried out during war time, on foreign soil or our own should not matter…  shouldn’t a member of our military be taken care of if he/she fell off a loading dock while pealing potatoes assigned to KP duty?   (I know, soldiers no longer are required to perform KP; pick some similar mundane chore like slipping down on a wet floor while cleaning the head)

There you go, soldier; we don’t have to pay for your injuries because you can’t prove they happened as an act of war.  Chew on that for a while …

Of course there are two sides to every coin; taking into account the numerous attempts to feign injury in order to collect a fat Workman’s Compensation package.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

A friend of mine worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a criminal inspector.  One of his jobs was investigating individuals who were collecting disability from the government, folks suspected of being less than honest about their injuries.  He told me about folks who claimed they were too injured to work collecting full benefits that showed up each month in their mail box.   The only problem was these folks were fit as a fiddle and off working ‘cash jobs’ that went as unreported income when they were supposed to be at home in their sick bed.

I wish there were more inspectors catching free loaders; but that goes against current policy under the Obama administration.  Truth be known, I think there are bonuses set aside for the more creative free loaders.

Talk about free loaders and spending taxpayer money, what about this?

“The director of the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office was paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move the 140 miles from Washington, D.C. to her new home last year”.


“Federal regulations allow for the reimbursement of relocation expenses including the “costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per-diem rate for meals and temporary housing for an employee and his or her family,” the spokesman said.”

va_seal_logoI’m so happy to know the VA administrators are able to take care of themselves; but isn’t their job to take care of military personnel who need medical treatment? (Sounds like they have their priorities messed up)

Moving right along…

I remember one police officer who fell out of his chair at the station and collected full disability benefits for about a year; that’s full pay with benefits, tax free because it was carried as Injury on Duty.  (not making this up folks; this actually happened)

Back in the 70s an off duty uniformed Houston Police Officer was injured while working traffic at the Astrodome, an extra-job where his salary was furnished by the Astrodome.  Long story short; he was seriously injured by a vehicle while working traffic; but the City denied his request for Injury on Duty status.

The City of Houston claimed that at the time of his injuries his actual employer was the Astrodome and refused to pay while he was out of work.  Eventually the courts convinced the City of their responsibility because the officer was directing traffic and wearing a uniform which represented his authority, authority which could only be given by the City of Houston.

More recently another Houston Police Officer, Jason Roy, survived a roll over accident during a chase.  His promised benefits have been denied after being disabled with a broken neck, making him unable to perform as a police officer.

‘“The City of Houston is cooperating fully and is not contesting Officer Roy’s medical condition.  The case is moving through the process dictated by the state. The next scheduled hearing will occur in mid-November. The decision as to whether benefits are granted is made by the Worker’s Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance, not the city,” city of Houston Director of Human Resources Omar Reid.”

This means there’s a bureaucrat stationed somewhere along the chain of command to deny benefits; either at the City, State or Federal level of government.  Somebody is employed in a position of authority to ignore benefits promised, ignore right from wrong and to limit final responsibility in favor of saving the taxpayers money.

I would hope our military service men and women would be treated better; but our government is run by folks who have lost their compass as to what’s right and wrong.  Injury on Duty means nothing to administrators and bureaucrats whose sole purpose in life is to screw over those who’ve earned these benefits.


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