While the administration might be touting the certification of DADT repeal last week, the ramifications are still being felt by service members who were discharged. Lt. Dan Choi shares his recent collection letter sent by Diversified Collection Services, Inc.
The debt collection firm is best known for incredibly awful customer service and shaking down college students for money owed for student loans. Numerous consumer affairs complaints have been filed against the company for dishonest business practices and unlawful collection procedures.
I tried to get an answer from the Department of Defense on whether the administration will instruct the government to stop these collection proceedings against service members discharged under DADT and if they refund any payments made by previously discharged soldiers. When I called the DOD Public Affairs officer the man who answered the phone sighed loudly and said, "Ugh" before telling me he would transfer me to a voice mail line where I could leave my opinion on the issue. When I said I was calling for a statement as a journalist, he told me it wasn't a legitimate question and I obviously wasn't a real journalist.
Choi (who's most recent letter is posted after the break) said over e-mail, "The president's liaison Brian Bond acknowledged receipt of my letter but I have not heard anything. The creditors and IRS have already sent me warnings and it seems likely the Veterans benefits (50% disability check) form my service and Iraq war disabilities will be cut off shortly. With interest accrued, the total comes to $3,251.77."
So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say the answer, most likely, is "No."