Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Repaying for body armor

OK, so at least he had body armor, but he lost it.

It's kinda hard to keep track of body armor when it's stripped off of you to apply a tourniquet.

From the Charleston Gazette-News, via AMERICABlog:

The last time 1st Lt. William Â?EddieÂ? Rebrook IV saw his body armor, he was lying on a stretcher in Iraq, his arm shattered and covered in blood.

A field medic tied a tourniquet around RebrookÂ?s right arm to stanch the bleeding from shrapnel wounds. Soldiers yanked off his blood-soaked body armor. He never saw it again.

But last week, Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.

He was leaving the Army for good because of his injuries. He turned in his gear at his base in Fort Hood, Texas. He was informed there was no record that the body armor had been stripped from him in battle.

He was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks, perhaps months.

Rebrook, 25, scrounged up the cash from his Army buddies and returned home to Charleston last Friday.

"I last saw the [body armor] when it was pulled off my bleeding body while I was being evacuated in a helicopter,Â? Rebrook said. Â?They took it off me and burned it."

....Rebrook, who graduated with honors from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., spent more than four years on active duty. He served six months in Iraq.

Now, Rebrook is sending out résumés, trying to find a job. He plans to return to college to take a couple of pre-med classes and apply to medical school. He wants to be a doctor someday.

“From being an infantryman, I know what it’s like to hurt people,” Rebrook said. “But now I’d like to help people.” ?


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