Returning Minn. Guard troops to lose expected benefitsby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — More than 800 Minnesota National Guard soldiers will lose benefits they had been expecting upon their return this spring from Kuwait.
Under a 2007 Pentagon policy, troops who served multiple tours were eligible for four additional days of paid time off for nearly every month they were gone. Now, instead of four days each month, Minnesota Guard soldiers will get one.
The loss of a month's pay will be difficult for many soldiers and their families who were expecting the money, said Chief of Army Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard Lt. Col. Matthew Vatter.
"To where I can find a new job, I can find a new house, I can move to a different apartment, I can do this, that or the other thing, that they now have got that timeline significantly shortened," Vatter said.
Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation are asking the Pentagon to grandfather units that deployed under the original policy. Any change could come too late for those troops expected to return to Minnesota in May.