August 22, 2006:
In another example of the innovation and practicality that have made the U.S. Marines so effective over the years, they have come up with a simple solution for problems some wounded marines, recuperating in the United States, have in getting bureaucratic problems fixed. In the past, marines wounded overseas, and sent to hospitals back home for extended treatment, were still part of their units back in the combat zone. Last Spring, the rules were changed to make the wounded marines temporarily assigned to the hospital they were in, although they still were members of their combat unit overseas. This didn't solve the problem. So now marines are allowed to temporarily join any nearby marine unit (active duty or reserve), which makes it a lot easier to solve any problems with pay or benefits. Previously, such problems required communication with the marine unit overseas. Even with email and cheap phone calls, this was quite a chore, and a bit much for a recuperating marine to handle. By transferring these administrative chores to a nearby unit, it's much easier to clear up problems. About a thousand marines are eligible for this new procedure.