January 09, 2006


The following is a story from my local paper, the News Journal (of Wilmington Delaware) written by Mike Billington.

I cannot emphasize enough the injustice that is being done to Mr. Tyler.

I encourage anyone who reads this article to spread it throughout the Blogosphere to raise awareness of Reginald Tyler's case.

Soldier beating cancer but not the Army.

Reginald Tyler loved the Army. The Army just didn't love him back, he says.

Tyler enlisted 30 days after graduating from old P.S. du Pont High School in Wilmington and spent 26 years serving his country in Germany, Korea and the United States. He never thought about retirement.

"I was what you might call a lifer," he said. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

[...] But when Tyler was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2002, everything changed. The Army treated him for the cancer -- taking out most of his stomach in the process -- but his medical condition made it impossible for him to do his job as a supply sergeant, which sometimes involved heavy lifting.

Tyler said when his last enlistment was up, he could not sign up for more duty because his physical condition prevented him from performing his job.

No longer in the military, Tyler and his family live on less than $15,000 a year after a military medical board, while acknowledging he cannot work, ruled he is not entitled to a disability pension.

"Because I did not have any cancer left in my body, they said they'd fulfilled their obligation to me," Tyler said.

"After that, they said I was on my own."

[...] The Social Security Administration has awarded him a small disability pension, around $1,000 a month. He also gets a Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension -- about $140 a month -- but the amount of that pension is deducted from his monthly Social Security payments.

When it became clear he could no longer stay in the military because he could not physically perform his duties, the Army offered Tyler a choice. He could wait 17 years until he was 60 to draw his monthly Army pension, or take an immediate $40,000 buyout.

"They said it was a choice, but we had no real choice," Cheryl Tyler said. "We had money owed as a result of his being sick and all the problems with his pay. We were in so deep by that time that we had to take the buyout and start paying off some bills."

Read it all, there so much more that has been done this soldier.

(Note: If the link expires, let me know, and I will email you the full text myself)

Posted by Kyer at January 9, 2006 06:23 PM | TrackBack