LEBANON, Ore. - The U.S. military says a former Oregon National Guard soldier does not owe them for missing equipment - but he still owes them money.
An Army spokesman told KVAL News they can't say what Gary Pfleider II is being billed for because of federal privacy law.
But Pfleider told KVAL News a spokesman for Defense Finance and Accounting Services told him Wednesday that they paid him too much money for the last three months he was in the National Guard - and now he has to pay it back.
Pfleider was shot by a sniper and medically evacuated from Iraq in 2007.
Last week, he told KVAL News that his Social Security disability check was being docked to pay a $3,000 bill for equipment that went missing after he evacuated from Iraq.
He showed KVAL News a statement he filed with the Oregon National Guard in February 2010 trying to get those charges cleared. An Oregon Guard spokesman also told KVAL News on Friday that Pfleider was being billed for gear by Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
After KVAL News received an e-mail from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington that said Pfleider was not being billed for gear, but for another reason, KVAL News contacted Pfleider again to ask if he had ever received notification of this overpayment.
"I did not," he said. "I was under the impression that (the gear) is what I was being charged for. And that was documentation and information that was given to me at hand from two seargents at my old unit because that's information they were given."
Pfleider told KVAL News a Defense Finance and Accounting Services spokesman told him they mailed three notices about overpayment to him, but he never received them. Based on the paperwork he had and conversations with soldiers in his former unit, he believed he was being docked for equipment.
Pfleider said he was not being overpaid and has paperwork to clear up the discrepancy.
KVAL News wanted to discuss Pfleider's case with Defense Finance and Accounting Services, but a spokesman said Pfleider had to waive his privacy rights.
Pfleider said he will sign that waiver on Thursday.
For the latest on this story, watch KVAL.com for updates and tune in to KVAL 13 TV News on Thursday.
An earlier version of the story from Wedneday
UPDATE - Gary Pfleider II wanted an answer from the military.
He got one - indirectly.
Not long after KVAL News published an update on the Purple Heart recipient's predicament online, Joint Base Lewis-McChord sent KVAL News an e-mail saying Pfleider is not being charged for equipment left behind in Iraq. | READ THE E-MAIL
He is being charged for something else.
Exactly what, they will not say - unless Pfleider agrees to sign a waiver of his privacy rights.
"The Oregon National Guard sent Gary Pfleider a letter in May 2009 regarding missing government property associated with the Oregon National Guard. Upon investigation at that time, the state determined that the Soldier was not liable for this equipment."
On Friday, the Oregon National Guard told KVAL News they believed Pfleider was being billed for equipment left in Iraq by Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He showed KVAL News a copy of a notice dated June 2009 that included a list of gear missing when his unit came back in 2008, a year after he was shot. The list included items like clothing, canteens and grenades.
And contacted again Wednesday afternoon after Joint Base Lewis-McChord contacted KVAL News, Pfleider said he was unaware of any other bills.
KVAL News has helped put Pfleider in touch with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Public Information Office, as requested by Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
For the latest on this story, watch KVAL.com for updates and tune in to KVAL 13 TV News Wednesday and Thursday.
First of all, we would like to thank Gary Pfleider for his service, and as a Wounded Warrior we wish him the best as he recovers from his injury sustained in combat.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Oregon National Guard has researched this issue involving Gary Pfleider and determined there is no indebtedness to this individual for missing equipment either from Joint Base Lewis-McChord or the Oregon National Guard.
Gary Pfleider was discharged from the active Army on/about Sept 10, 2008. A Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss (FLIPL) was conducted at JBLM in Sept 2008 for equipment still on his records. At that time it was determined there was no liability or negligence due to MEDEVAC (medical evacuation), and he was relieved of the financial liability and property accountability.
The Oregon National Guard sent Gary Pfleider a letter in May 2009 regarding missing government property associated with the Oregon National Guard. Upon investigation at that time, the state determined that the Soldier was not liable for this equipment.
Due to the individual's privacy (Privacy Act), we cannot discuss the nature of Mr. Pfleider's outstanding charges; however, you can put him in contact with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service who will discuss the nature of the charges with him. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service Public Information Officer is Mr. (name and phone number redacted for online publication).
DFAS cannot discuss anything about Gary Pfleider's pay unless he waives his privacy rights.
Regards, Joe Piek
Joseph J. Piek
Chief, External Communications
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs
LEBANON, Ore. - Reporters have told Gary Pfleider II that the military will make a decision on his case by Friday, and a number of people have offered to settle his bill.
He has declined those offers.
But the disabled Iraq veteran said Wednesday afternoon that he had not heard anything from the military since KVAL News broke the story about the Purple Heart recipient's predicament last Friday.
Since then, Pfleider has flown to New York to appear on MSNBC. CNN has distributed the KVAL News report to other news organizations, and The Associated Press on Wednesday distributed a story on Pfleider's situation.
Pfleider, of Lebanon, Ore., is the National Guard soldier has said he is being billed by the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington for gear that disappeared between the time he was medically evacuated from Iraq after he was shot by a sniper and when his unit demobilized at the base. He showed copies of the bill to KVAL News.
Pfleider said reporters have told him the military will have a decision by Friday. He said he heard Captain Stephen Bomar with the Oregon National Guard say the same thing in a TV interview.
But Pfleider said he has had no direct contact with the military since sharing his story with KVAL News last week.
"I'm willing to hold off on interviews. I got a call from 'Fox and Friends,' but I'm just trying to wait it out until Friday to see what happens," Pfleider told KVAL News on Wednesday. "If I don't have an answer by Friday, then I'm going to go the next step. I'll get ahold of Ron Wyden to get some help and do more interviews."
Pfleider said a man from Arizona contacted him and said he was willing to pay off the bill out of his own pocket. Other people on the Internet have offered to pay, too.
"I'm asking those people to wait," he said. "I appreciate the offers, but that's not the issue.
"I want a response back from the military," Pfleider said. "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."