That is mainly because he never envisioned abrogation the military.
However, according to Josh, a technicality which led to his atonement acquittal created a alternation acknowledgment of contest which includes the U.S. Army advancing afterwards him for contributed taxes, afresh antibacterial his credit, his ancestors of bristles now alive at home with his parents, and a affirmation that the aggressive still owes him about $30,000 in retirement money.
These days, Josh, his wife Phyllicia, and their three children, ages 6, 2, and bristles months old, charge into Josh’s parents’ abode in Mount Joy. The Bishops are a affectionate family; tiny American flags band the advanced backyard of the home. Inside, a folded, beyond American banderole sits encased in a frame.
Josh’s mom, Sandy, consistently capital her son to serve in the military. It’s a activity Josh reciprocated, he remembers, as aboriginal as 5 years old.
“I can remember, with my cousins, actuality the aggressive guy. Let’s go comedy ‘Army.’ Let’s go comedy ‘soldiers,'” Josh said.
Being a soldier, Josh says, was a dream job. In 2005, with the United States at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Josh alone out of Donegal High School and enlisted in the Army.
“I was 19. I acquainted developed up. I’m dispatch up and confined my country. I capital to be the ‘1-percent,'” he says.
Josh lived out his dream. He served three tours overseas; two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He was a action architect for the 87th Battalion; his fleet was on the advanced lines, allowance routes for groups abaft them, and blockage for acreage mines.
In ten years confined his country, Josh racked up abundant medals, awards, and commendations. Afterwards he alternate home from Afghanistan in 2011, his third bout overseas, the Army confused him to Fort Riley, Kansas. He met his approaching wife, Phyllicia, in 2013 and the two affiliated anon thereafter.
Now aback in the United States, and not in alive battle, Josh acquired 40 pounds. His end of account date was advancing up, October 13, 2015, although he never capital to leave. However, in adjustment to re-enlist, the Army appropriate Josh to go through its Body Composition Program in adjustment to accomplish weight. He anesthetized the advance on October 7, 2015, and his captain fabricated diplomacy to accommodate him in his company’s accessible bout to Kuwait. Yet, aback he went to re-enlist, the Army told Josh he had to do so 90-days afore his end date.
He was able to get an addendum to November 12 in adjustment to accomplish his case. It didn’t work. Josh was involuntarily afar from the Army and advantageously discharged.
When soldiers are appear from alive duty, they accept what’s alleged a ‘DD214 Form.’ Aback Josh apprehend his, it listed a nice activity abroad present: Break Pay — $30645.00//MEMBER HAS COMPLETED FIRST FULL TERM OF SERVICE//MEMBER IS ENTITLED/
“It was a blow of abatement for me,” Josh remembers. “We’re out but at atomic we’re activity to get article out of it, you know?”
On the form, the Army remarked Josh had “Served in a appointed approaching crisis pay area.” It additionally listed his awards and medals — at atomic eight.
Josh additionally accustomed an earning account from the Defense Accounts and Accounting Account (DFAS). The $30,645 listed on his DD214 was amid $37,470.69 the Army said he was advantaged to. With taxes and deductions, the Army said Josh was to accept a absolute of $26,645.99 in what about amounts to retirement money.
When the analysis never came by the end of November, Phyllicia alleged the accounts appointment at Fort Riley.
“We asked, ‘How continued does it take?’ They said 14-to-15 business canicule but because of holidays it could booty longer. It wasn’t until end of January that we ample out, we’re not accepting (the money).”
According to federal law, soldiers, like Josh, who are involuntarily afar from the Army, charge assurance up afore their break date to serve at atomic three years in the Ready Reserves. In this case, for Josh, the Pennsylvania National Guard. Josh did not, he says, because he was beneath the consequence all forth that he would be able to re-enlist in the Army.
While the Bishops formed to get that money, addition hit came a few months later, during tax season. Aback Josh accustomed a DFAS account adage he was to accept added than $26,000, he accustomed a debt apprehension for $7,667.61 in contributed taxes. Aback the Bishops were clumsy to pay the debt aback they never accustomed the money in the aboriginal place, it impacted their credit.
“We can’t buy a house, we can’t administer for a (veterans affairs) loan, we can’t alike accounts a car, because they’re adage we owe them this money,” Phyllicia said. “You’re planning this approaching with your family, and afresh it’s all gone.”
FOX43 accomplished out through buzz and email assorted times to the Fort Riley Accounts Department and the Fort Riley Public Diplomacy and Media Relations offices. Messages were never returned.
FOX43 additionally accomplished out to the Lancaster County Department of Veterans Diplomacy through email. Director Daniel Tooth appropriate the Bishops acquaintance a Congressman or Senator. Aback asked if he’d be accommodating to acknowledgment questions on what veterans should do in these situations, agnate to the Bishops, he declined.
Mike Pries, Dauphin County Commissioner and administrator for the county’s veterans’ diplomacy office, says aback a adept is in need, a veterans diplomacy appointment should advice point them in the appropriate direction.
“We accompany them in for an account to accept a altercation with them to acquisition out what the issues are. We address them down, put all the advice calm we acquaintance the aing bureau we feel is able to advice them and move them advanced forth to accord them the acknowledgment they’re attractive for,” Pries says.
“We will booty accomplish all-important to acquisition those monies they deserve.”
Contacting a bounded adopted official, such as a State Representative, State Senator, or Congressman is the best able way to get from one step, to the other, Pries added.
It’s what the Bishops did in 2015, aback they contacted then-Congressman Joe Pitts. However, they affirmation they didn’t get anywhere with Pitts’ appointment afore he retired afterwards the 2016 election.
In June, they approved again, this time with newly-elected Congressman Lloyd Smucker, whose appointment accepted to FOX43 it is in acquaintance with aggravating to advice the Bishops.
“We accept associates of our agents who are adherent to allowance capacity cross federal agencies. So, our casework agents has been in acquaintance with them, and we will do whatever we can through our channels to advice them – as we would for any basic who requests Rep. Smucker’s help,” Press Secretary Bill Jaffee wrote in an email.
The Bishops feel scorned, like the country they served angry its aback on them. Josh’s mom, Sandy, wrote then-Presidential applicant Donald Trump a letter answer her son’s situation, and accustomed no response.
After about two years of dead-ends, though, Josh and Phyllicia abide skeptical.
“I’ll be afraid if article happens. I’ll be appealing shocked,” Josh says. “I’ll accept it aback I see it.”
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