Tough wait for military separation pay



Posted on February 18, 2010 at 11:49 PM

Jason McKeever served his country proudly for 14 years in the Navy and he gave the military what it had provided him.

"I kind of envied that lifestyle, the way that people were treated with a little bit of respect," he said.

Jason left the Navy and he was supposed to get $47,517 in separation pay, but the father of two has only received less than half of what he's owed.

"It's a good amount of money especially with the transition of trying to find a new job and I don't know how much I'm going to be making or how long it's going to be before I start working," he explained.

Jason, a missile technician, fired off calls and e-mails the Navy's direction, but he claims they never got back to him.

"Its almost an embarrassment. My wife is asking me why it's taking so long and it's embarrassing to say that's the military, that's the Navy," he said.

I took a look at Jason's discharge papers and saw his separation code: JGH.

That means Jason's not recommended for continued active duty. That designation cut his pay in half, even though he's earned several commendations, including the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement medal.

"I don't want to bad mouth them and say they are horrible about paperwork and pay issues, they are always like that, but it's the truth and it's unfortunate that I have to say that. It's too bad," said Jason.

It seems as if the Navy now realizes that there's a miss with Jason's case saying, "Everyone involved wants the right thing to happen here... The Navy wants to pay him the money he is owed."

"As soon as I get it, put it in the bank and start house shopping. We've been looking at houses for a while, it'll be nice to start getting serious about house hunting," he said.

After we started contacting the Navy, Jason got a check for just under $9,000, but the Navy says he will have to jump through some hoops to get the rest, specifically a hearing showing proof of the mistake.

We got him in touch with Senator Patty Murray's office and they are assisting Jason through the process.