General Question

needinginformation's avatar

Shot down in Kabul and now asked to pay at private hospital, Why isn't military paying?

Asked by needinginformation (51points) May 20th, 2011

Fiance was shot down Sunday May 15, 2011 in route to Kabul, Afghanistan while he was transporting soldiers. He survived with extensive leg injuries. He was transported from Bagram to an undisclosed private hospital on the outskirts of Afghan. It’s bad enough he is in dire pain and facing the lost of his long time friend who was co-piloting, the hospital is now asking him for $700 US dollars for quality care and refers to it as “family token”. (in addition to what military is paying) Has anyone heard of such a practice? We can only come up with $500. I am desperate and feel horrible enough that he’s there all alone. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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18 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

sounds like a shakedown to me. State Dept or DoD should be able to take care of it for you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I will say that it is a terrible shame to hear something like this. That’s not right. I guess it is a long shot, but could it be a mistake?

Seaofclouds's avatar

It doesn’t sound right at all. Do not pay them any extra money. He needs to talk to the people in his command and at Tricare to sort it out. I know that’s not what he needs to be dealing with right now, but it just doesn’t sound legit. He needs to get more information before making any payments.

bob_'s avatar

Is he in the military, or is he a private contractor?

needinginformation's avatar

I am having a hard time keeping my composure much less knowing the right questions to ask him. The doctors will hardly allow me to communicate with him via computer. My question is, “are they going to keep your body random?” or not do surgery??

He is a Lieutenant in United States Air Force.

I have to admit I am quite ignorant about military practice and procedures.

WasCy's avatar

The whole story sounds fishy to me. (Not that I think you’re lying to us, @needinginformation, but there are lies about this somewhere.)

A USAF lieutenant injured in the line of duty and not taken prisoner would be treated by US military doctors in-country, and evacuated for care in Europe or the US if his injuries warranted more extensive care (and if it was thought that he would survive the evacuation, of course).

Now, if he were shot down by insurgent forces and taken prisoner, which is possible, then all bets are off regarding his care and treatment. But I find it highly unlikely that he would be allowed to communicate with you at all in that case.

So… is it possible that his computer (or one of his accounts) has been stolen or hijacked and you’re simply the victim of an intended fraud?

The questions I’d be asking:
1. Where are you being treated, and by whom?
2. Do your superior officers (and Air Force medical personnel) know about and approve this mode of treatment?
3. What kind of injuries have you received?
4. Were you injured in the line of duty, or was this a non-military event?
5. Finally, I’d ask him something that only he could answer (and that he will know the answer to) that is private to the two of you, which will help to establish that you know who you’re talking to.

This whole story stinks, frankly.

creative1's avatar

I would call someone within the military and let them know what is going on, maybe they can do something to get him out. If you can’t reach anyone then go public with the story, call the new channels in your area that will get him home quick.

needinginformation's avatar

@Wascy I asked him where he was and the name of his doctor. his response was I do not know where I am. I am told “the outskirts of Afghan in a private hospital” and my doctor is a native Indian, candian mix. No answer of the doctors name. Just that they were taking good care of him.
His commander contacted me by email to inform me of the accident but when I went to respond it appeared his email was hacked into because I got various error messages.
I was told he was in a coma for 24 hours and I was not contacted until some 24 hours later when he came to. Then via IM by my (apparent) loved one his right femor was broken and exposed and right knee was severely damaged.
I was told by himself and his Captain that he was shot down on his way back from dropping of soldiers in Kabul.
I have contacted one of his mates from his unit and he confirmed the accident but said he was not at leisure to share any of the information of the accident or his condition.
UGH! I left a message of this with the DOD but not sure where else to turn.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

The command does not usually contact you via email with news like this. Contact the remain behind portion of the unit he is with. The entire thing sounds very fishy including you not being able to respond to the email.

jaytkay's avatar

Sounds like this kind of scam:

Claims of Being Stranded Swindle Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars
07/01/10—The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center continues to receive reports of individuals’ e-mail or social networking accounts being compromised and used in a social engineering scam to swindle consumers out of thousands of dollars. Portraying to be the victim, the hacker uses the victim’s account to send a notice to their contacts. The notice claims the victim is in immediate need of money due to being robbed of their credit cards, passport, money, and cell phone; leaving them stranded in London or some other location. Some claim they only have a few days to pay their hotel bill and promise to reimburse upon their return home. A sense of urgency to help their friend/contact may cause the recipient to fail to validate the claim, increasing the likelihood of them falling for this scam.

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

snowberry's avatar

Also, contact the Red Cross. Tell them the story, and see if they can confirm or deny this story. Someone needs to actually go there, wherever “there” is. If nothing else, you need to contact his boss/the company he works for. Please keep us posted.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Contacting the Red Cross is a really good idea. They are used to verifying such information although being a fiance not a spouse does decrease some of the information they would be willing to share.

needinginformation's avatar

I did get in contact with the US Red Cross in Afghanistan via the Bagram AirForce Base website. They forwarded me the email contact. By the time they called me I had already heard from Mark and assumed he was in good care and asked no other questions after their confirmation that he was in an accident. UGH I guess I am too naive. Geez i am freaking out.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Since you have already been in contact with the Red Cross, contact them again. Let them know about the phone call and the request for money from the hospital.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Contact his home(US) base, or the nearest one to you. Explain the situation to them, there should be a liason that will help you step through the correct hoops to get this resolved. If you are not listed as one of his emergency contacts with his unit, you may need to get one of them to assist you in doing this.

If it is a scam, they are counting on you being freaked out.

needinginformation's avatar

Thank you all… me a starting point. I appreciate you trying help out a stranger.

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like it is that type of email scam, to me.

snowberry's avatar

See if someone in the Red Cross will let you forward the e-mail to them. If someone there reads it, they might understand your concern and act on it. Maybe they cannot tell you much, but all the same, they might contact your fiance and ask him to send you a message.

Does he have family who they could speak to?

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