A young man joined the Air Force, attended tech school, and was assigned to his first permanent duty station. After being on duty for 14 months, he deserted. He was apprehended two years after he deserted, was court-martialed, and pled guilty to a single charge of desertion. A military judge sentenced him to a reduction in rank and gave him a dishonorable discharge.
On the surface, this seems like a very light sentence for desertion. Now for the rest of the story.
The young man had joined the Air Force after completing several semesters of college work. After completing basic training, he married his high school sweetheart on the way to a tech school.
At his first permanent duty assignment, he could not get on-base housing, so he and his wife rented a small apartment about 10 miles from the base. As with most very young couples, there was not much money; some small debts were being paid off month to month. He had taken advance pay for the apartment deposit and to cover minor moving expenses. His car became unreliable, so he got more advance pay to make a down payment on a newer, more reliable car. They were making it, but barely. He wanted to get a second job, but his unit told him that was not allowed until he achieved a higher rank. His wife could not work because she had had several episodes of illness. The Air Force base doctor suspected kidney problems and referred her off base for evaluation. A kidney biopsy showed she had less than 20 percent of her kidney function left.
The young Airman did not have any additional insurance. His application for Medicaid was refused because, theoretically, the military provided his wife with medical care. Medical bills began to mount. His insurance policy required that the Airman pay for the first $1000 of medical expenses. The insurance company would pay for everything beyond that. However, $1,000 is much money when you do not have any. Further, that policy renews each calendar year, which means he would have to pay $1000 each year for medical expenses for his wife.
The insurance policy he had did not cover all medical bills either. The Airman submitted claims that were turned down. For instance, when his wife was hospitalized downtown, she routinely had lab work and X-rays. Those claims were denied because those services were available on base. No one adequately answered how she was supposed to get to the base to get these services when she was staying in the hospital as a patient downtown. Additionally, even though the base told the Airman that this particular hospital was the only place to get the necessary treatment, the doctor and hospital routinely billed higher fees than his insurance allowed. This meant that all of the extra fees were the Airman’s responsibility to pay.
The Airman went to the Air Force for help. He applied to ask for a “humanitarian transfer” to be assigned to the base near his extended family. He had a base hospital with the ability to treat his wife’s condition. That would have significantly reduced his expenses, plus his family would have been able to help with getting his wife to appointments, and they could have provided some emotional support. The Air Force turned down his request. He obtained more documentation from his wife’s doctor and reapplied. His second request was also denied.
- What was the problem?
- Whose points of view need to be considered in this scenario?
- List some options of what he tried in the scenario as well as thinking of additional options he did not try
- Students should list the pros and cons of each option they tried and any they came up with.
- What should he have done? What do you think the Air Force should have done for him?
- Please make a shortlist of steps he could follow for the solution chosen.
- How will he and the Air Force know if the solution worked? What circumstances may change and need flexibility in the future?
Pages: 3 Double spaced(825 words)
Style and source: APA7, 1 source
Free extras: Outline/Title page/Bibliography / Reference page
Study level: College
Assignment type: Essay
Subject: Social Sciences