I have a grandson stationed in Norfolk. He was hit by a car almost a year ago, on base, while he was riding his bicycle to work. He had to have surgery on his ankle which was shattered. He had metal rods and plates and was sent home to his barracks, where he lived alone, along with a prescription of heavy duty pain killers. He was rarely checked on by his command and did not have meals delivered. I did not know this at the time...when he was released to go back to work he was still using crutches and had no way to take himself there. Even if he could drive, he had no car. Needless to say, he was often late but always made an effort to get there through friends or co-workers.
This is a young man who has received at least 3 promotions in his first year of duty and has also received several awards.
During the past six months he was waiting for a enlistment bonus which never materialized and his pay was extremely messed up with each promotion. For many months he was receiving less than half of what he was entitled to receive. He therefore could not afford to get a car and so the problems of tardiness snowballed. He took this information to his command and even provided copies of his bank statements in the hope of getting someone to help him straighten out this situation. Still, months later, no adjustment.
He opted for NJP and is now on restriction due to this tardiness problem, has been put in a barracks that is 3.1 miles from the building that he works at and has been told that if he cannot adhere to this restriction then he will be put in the brig. His commanding officer is fully aware that he cannot walk on his ankle which needs additional surgery and yet no transportation has been provided to allow him to make it there on time. He has been demoted one rank and is depressed about his future. Uber and Lyft are not available to him on base and taxis are few and far between and sometimes take hours to arrive.
Where can you turn for help when it seems that you have fallen through the cracks? When I talk to him about it he simply says that things are very different in the military, you have no rights per se and I just cannot understand this.
We all know that some people are bullies and I fear that he has come upon one that is determined to wreck his career and well as his mental state...
JJC54 - I am so sorry to hear this. I know of no one other than to reach out to a Chaplain for help. You do not mention if your grandson is stationed on shore duty or assigned to a ship. My husband always says, they need to speak to their senior chief. I don't know if that is who is supposed to be looking out for him or not. If he is assigned to a ship, there should be an ombudsman that is assigned and she might be able to help, at least be able to check on what things are available in the area for his assistance.
This last year + with the COVID has been a mess with pay not being dealt with and many other issues. And while things are different in the military, in my opinion, this type of negligence is not acceptable.
I will watch for your reply, I might not be able to respond until tomorrow though.
Thanks so much for your caring advice. I have told him to contact a chaplain and perhaps that will begin to make things better. As you know, it can be so difficult to be so far away and so limited in knowledge. I truly appreciate this
JJC54 - I too am sorry to hear this. I will agree with what Chipmunk says. And yes, his chain of command should be able to offer assistance, especially if they are fully aware of the situation. I'm sure this is very difficult for you knowing he is struggling but he needs to be more assertive in getting help. He needs to stand up for himself and if he doesn't get the help he needs he should work his way up the chain of command. Do they have additional surgery planned? Did he get physical therapy? Definitely sounds like he's fallen through the cracks.
And yes, reaching out to the Chaplain might be a good idea at this point for further guidance and support. He needs to keep fighting.
Thank you so much...yes, he will have additional surgery and did have some PT but when he was scheduled for the yearly fitness test the doctor asked that he be allowed to swim instead of run do to his injury but was told at the test that swimming would not be an option, so he ran until he could run no longer and had to be taken to the doctor again. My father was in the army for 20 years, serving in both Korea and Viet Nam and I do not recall the military being so lax then. Once again I thank you for your concern and advice, it is greatly appreciated
I concur about talking to a chaplain, and the Command Masterchief. Why hasn't he been given Limited Duty (LIMDU)? His doctors surely know he needs that, and they can tell the command to make accommodations. When our sailors were injured, that's what we did. Meals to the barracks wouldn't be usual, but his LPO and Chief should have cared enough to make that happen. There is something very wrong here, or much more going on. The NJP is very unusual.
Thanks for your support. I really don't understand why any of this had to happen...I suppose it was the luck of the draw. His first CO was much more accommodating but was promoted and another one stepped in and this is where the true lack of care began. I hope that everything will clear itself and that my grandson can find some understanding and compassion so that everyone will be the better for it.
JJC54 - It is hard to say. Hopefully he will be able to reach out to someone that can help him process through all of this. Please don't hesitate to continue to reach out for more encouragement.