A former Oregon National Guard soldier who was injured in a sniper attack in Iraq said the U.S. military owes him thousands of dollars, Seattle Weekly reported.
Gary Pfleider was shot in the leg in 2007 while on patrol in Iraq and has since undergone eight operations. He will reportedly have to wear a leg brace for the rest of his life.
"I remember grabbing a hold of my leg and realizing I had blood on my hands," Pfleider told Seattle's KVAL-TV. "And from that point on, until I got loaded onto the Stryker, it was just a big blur."
Pfleider recuperated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, and was awarded the Purple Heart.
He said the military has since billed him for $3,000 for clothes and weapons he left in Iraq after he was injured. The feds have put a freeze on his tax returns, according to Seattle Weekly.
Pfleider reportedly said he should not be held liable for the items left behind because he received sworn statements from his military superiors indicating he was no longer liable. The government said they do not have any record of such statements, KVAL reported.
The military said Pfleider does not owe them money for the equipment but rather for something else that they can’t reveal because of federal privacy law, KVAL reported.
Pfleider said he received a phone call on Wednesday from a Defense Finance and Accounting Services spokesman. He said the spokesman told him that the military overpaid him for the past few months he was in the National Guard and said that's why he now owes them money, KVAL reported.
Pfleider is about to undergo his ninth surgery. He said he has received financial donations from strangers to help pay for his expenses.
"I'm asking those people to wait," said Pfleider, according to KVAL. "I appreciate the offers, but that's not the issue. I want a response back from the military. I want them to admit they are wrong. I want it known that vets are not going to stand for it and be treated the way we're being treated."
The government will determine how much Pfleider owes on Friday.