Various organizations expressed concern that wounded and ill Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom military people arrive at hospitals with little more than the clothes on their backs.
The problem as defined by the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Army and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is that Soldiers who were injured as a result of combat actions in Iraq or other like actions around the world, or became ill were being medically evacuated to locations away from their organizations, without adequate clothing items.
Many of these wounded servicemembers were being released to travel as ambulatory patients or transported using commercial transportation to depart to other Medical Treatment Facilities or to return to their home station short on civilian clothing support.
Congress recognized the problem and has authorized the procurement of civilian clothing for the express reason to assist injured individuals in travel. Under provisions of section 1319, H.R. 1559, individuals who are medically evacuated for treatment in a medical facility, or for travel to a medical facility or the member’s home station, by reason of an illness or injury incurred or aggravated by the member while on active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, may be authorized to purchase civilian attire suitable for wear by the member during the travel.
The secretary may not spend more than $250 for the procurement of civilian attire for any member described above. Upon execution of the agreement with the Army and Air Force, procedures were established to allow authorized wounded or ill Soldiers and airmen to select articles of clothing apparel at AAFES facilities throughout the world. Army or Air Force medical officials certify eligibility.
AAFES Chief of Communications Debra Pressley said, “AAFES is delighted to have the opportunity to support these brave men and women. This law allows us to supply civilian clothing that will not hamper the Soldier during travel and will be comfortable for travel wear.”
Clothing members choose is left to their individual discretion, and they can select undergarments, uniform items and non-clothing items.