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Federal Diary: No Army pay raise for Eskimo scouts


"Paul Kiunya Sr. looks back on his early military days with pride.

He was just 16 when the now 78-year-old retiree joined the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II. Traveling by kayak in the summer and dog sled when snow covered the ground, Kiunya and his fellow guardsmen were among the nation's first line of defense from the Japanese.

It took a long time, but seven months ago, the Pentagon gave the guardsmen active duty credit for their service in the territorial force. That resulted in an increase in their military retirement pay.

But what Uncle Sam gives, he can take away -- and so he has.

With a letter that amounts to "Oops," the Army informed 27 former guardsmen that the pay increase was a mistake.

"I regret to inform you of the correction of a recent error that affects your current military retirement pay," begins the letter sent last week by Brig. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, the Army adjutant general."

Get the Story:
Federal Diary by Joe Davidson: Army Revokes Pay Raise for World War II 'Eskimo Scouts' (The Washington Post 1/27)