Alaska Supreme Court Denies Permanent Fund Dividend To Soldier Deployed To Iraq (+video)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The 172nd Infantry Brigade, the Arctic Wolves, had an extra long deployment in support of Operation Iraqui Freedom. They were supposed to go for a year, but the year turned into 16 months, with some of the brigade’s soldiers unexpectedly going back to Iraq after arriving home in Alaska. The deployment went from August 2005 to November 2006. The brigade received the Valorous Unit Award for its time in Iraq. There were soldiers killed and wounded and the separation, unexpectedly extended, was surely hard on families.

Perhaps the extra penalty suffered by Richard Heller is not that large a matter. Still it bugged him and it bugs me.

If Richard Heller had spent those 16 months at Fort Wainwright, then the home of the 178th Infantry Brigade, the Alaska Department of Revenue would have sent him a check for $1,106.96. That would be the Permanent Fund Dividend paid in 2007 to eligible Alaska residents. (As far as I know Alaska is the only state with a division of its Revenue Department dedicated to sending money to all its residents). Richard Heller arrived in Alaska on June 17, 2005, assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 172nd Stryker Brigade. He promptly registered to vote, obtained an Alaska driver’s license and changed his military records to indicate Alaska residency.

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