When Josh Bishop, an Army veteran, left combat against his will, he never thought of being hounded by his former employer for unpaid taxes. The claim not only destroyed his credit rating, it left his family of five living in his parental home. Worst of all, he claims, the army actually owes him money-and lots of it, nearly $30,000 in retirement benefits. Josh and his wife Phyllicia has three children, the oldest being six years and the youngest only three months old. The family lives in Mount Joy. The Bishops are a patriotic bunch, with United States flags everywhere from the tiny flags lining the front lawn outside the home to a bigger flag folded and encased in a distinctive frame.
For Josh, the military was always his calling. Sandy, his mother, always wanted her son to be an army man. He also wanted to be the same, with even his five year old self-playing the typical soldier in the playground. He realized his dream in 2005, having quit his school- Donegal High- and enlisting in the army. He was only 19 years old at that time and drenched wi8th patriotic fervor at the time the US was making inroads into Afghanistan and Iraq.
Josh was sent out to overseas combat areas-two times into Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He became a combat engineer serving for 87th Battalion, fighting on front lines. His duty was to clear routes for army personnel coming after them. He also checked for land mines. He racked up multiple medals for serving his country for 10 years. The US army finally transferred him into Fort Riley, Kansas. He met Phyllicia, his future wife in 2013. The two soon married.
Josh, now not in combat, gained weight to the tune of 40 pounds. A few things happened and he was honorably discharged from the army. His DD214 Form, a document received by US soldiers after they get released from active duty, showed his separation pay at $30,645 to which he is fully entitled to get. With the taxes and the assorted deductions, he was supposed to receive $26,645.99 as retirement money. The check never came. It was supposed to come within 15 business days or a few days after if there were holidays.
When Josh investigated, he found that he has dropped into a bureaucratic hell-hole. A soldier, who has been involuntarily separated from army, must sign up prior to their separation date to serve a minimum of three years in Ready Reserves. For Josh, this was Pennsylvania National Guard. He did not do so, as he was under the impression that he could re-enlist in the army. This is why he did not get his dues. To top his pain, the DFAS sent him a $7,667.61 debt notice in form of unpaid taxes. This negatively impacted their credit rating. They contacted a few Congressmen, including Lloyd Smucker. There had been no results until now.