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Old 07-21-2007, 04:54   #6
Team Sergeant
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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"As you saw in those documents, the government has determined I'm going to have a permanent partial disability," Haberman says. He claims he was offered medical retirement, giving him a service-connected disability rating of "at least" 30 percent (allowing him to receive 30 percent of his pay for the rest of his life.) But Haberman says he turned it down to stay in the military because "I love what I do."

As he discusses the intricacies of the military disability compensation system, it is clear that there's another reason he's stayed in the military. If Haberman starts the medical board proceedings now, he can't stop them. But the longer he waits, the more disabled he becomes. "Now they have to remove the nerve from my foot," Haberman says. "I could get 50 percent. They could say I'm not going to get anything. I'm not going to take that chance."

Haberman also says he's been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for all the carnage he witnessed in Iraq. "No one knows how long that takes to go away," Haberman says. That diagnosis might jack his disability rating well over 50 percent.

Haberman says he will soon be leaving medical hold at Fort Bragg to be released to the Inactive Reserve; his enlistment is up in January 2006. He's going to have to get a job. But Haberman still fantasizes about being a warrior. By e-mail, he asked the Observer not to print a story about him, because the publicity and printing of his photo would render him unable to serve in Special Operations in the future.

"What you don't understand is that any American that can pick up that paper and read it, the same goes for a 'Haaji' [Iraqi] that is looking to further his cause and to try to kill Americans," Haberman says. "And Hamas has a large following in Dallas, and al Qaeda has an operations center in Arlington, if you didn't already know that."

Maybe Haberman should have considered that before posting his picture and his story on the Internet.
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"The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy, but where they are."
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