Congressmembers Higgins, Reynolds, and Slaughter learn that disabled soldier Jamie Raymond’s case will be reviewed
Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-27), Tom Reynolds (NY-26), and Louise Slaughter (NY-28) today learned that military orders calling disabled veteran U.S. Army Specialist James Raymond back to active duty will be postponed pending review of Raymond’s appeal to the U.S. Army Human Resources command. Higgins, Reynolds and Slaughter wrote to the Army Human Resources on April 18, 2008, asking that the Army delay Raymond’s reporting deadline until after he completes the semester at the University at Buffalo, where he is enrolled as a student. The action taken today by the Army will allow SPC Raymond to complete the semester, delaying Raymond’s deployment for 1-3 months pending consideration of his appeal.
“This is an important step in the consideration of SPC Raymond’s individual circumstances affecting his ability to safely return to military duty,” Higgins said. “I am encouraged that the Army’s actions will, at a bare minimum, allow for SPC Raymond to complete his semester at the University of Buffalo.”
"This is good news and I am pleased to see that common sense has prevailed," said Representative Thomas M. Reynolds. "In light of this decision, SPC Raymond will be able to complete his semester at the University of Buffalo. I am hopeful that the Army will continue to review SPC Raymond's appeal."
“I am pleased that the Army responded to our request and agreed to postpone Specialist James Raymond’s return to active duty,” said Rep. Slaughter. “Even upon their return home, our brave service members are forced to put their lives on hold as they face repeated redeployments to sustain our overstretched military. America’s men and women in uniform deserve every consideration before they are returned to duty, especially if they have already been wounded in combat.”
SPC Raymond, who served in Afghanistan, was honorably discharged four years ago after suffering a knee injury that required surgery. During that same tour, SPC Raymond also lost complete hearing in one ear, injuries which earned him a ten percent disability rating by the Veterans Administration. Congressmembers Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter, and Tom Reynolds issued a joint letter to the Department of Defense urging an immediate postponement of existing orders which will allow for SPC Raymond to complete his courses at the University at Buffalo, and sincere considerations of what they believe will be a strong appeal by SPC Raymond against future activation.