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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 31, 2004
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Paying for R-and-R: Military will now send troops all the way home
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Washington-AP -- The Pentagon will soon begin paying travel expenses for troops to get all the way home on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan, at a cost of 55 (m) million dollars.

Until now, troops on leave have been flown to three cities in the United States and two in Germany, leaving them to pay the additional airfare if they wanted to go farther.

Today, officials say they're working on a plan for the Defense Department to begin reimbursing troops for those additional flights, with money recently authorized in Congress for the coming year.

Major Pete Mitchell of U-S Central Command says, "If it comes to pass as envisioned by members of Congress, this would be the most generous gesture on behalf of the American people."

Officials estimate that troops have been paying an average of 300 to 500 dollars out of their own pockets to get the rest of the way home.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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