Spc. Robert Loria of Middletown, N.Y., lost his arm in Iraq, but instead of a farewell paycheck from the Army he got a bill for nearly $1,800. On Friday a platoon of New York lawmakers came to his rescue. Loria found himself stuck in Fort Hood in Texas this week when Army officials said he owed money for travel expenses and for lost equipment.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey and Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton interceded on behalf of the 27-year-old veteran after his wife, Christine Loria, told the Times-Herald Record of Middletown about the problem.
Loria was wounded in February. But as he was about to leave the Army this month, officials told him he had been overpaid for his time as a patient at a military hospital in the Washington area, and said he still owed money for travel between the hospital and Fort Hood, as well as $310 for items not found in his returned equipment.
Instead of a check for nearly $4,500, Loria was told he had to pay nearly $1,800.
"Christmas is coming up, and we are severely overdrawn because of this," his wife said. "It turned out his getting wounded wasn't the worst thing this year to happen — this was."
Saturday, December 11, 2004
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