Military Notebook: Legion of Honor award goes to Warner Robins veteran

August 17, 2013 

A World War II veteran from Warner Robins was honored by the French government Friday.

In a ceremony at the Atlanta History Center, the consul general of France in Atlanta presented the Legion of Honor award to 11 World War II veterans who served in France during the war.

Among them was Stanley Lester of Warner Robins, who had previously been awarded the Silver Star for his service.

Created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honor is France’s highest honor.

Any American veteran who served in France during the war is eligible for the honor, according to a spokesperson for the consulate.

Employer sued over Reserve airman’s firing

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says an employer in Delaware improperly fired a Reserve airman.

According to an Associated Press story Friday, the federal government has filed suit against Regal Contractors over the firing of Senior Airman Lon Fluman, who serves in the Reserves at Dover Air Force Base.

He worked as a maintenance technician for the company and was fired after returning from required military training.

According to the story, the lawsuit states that Fluman gave proper notice of his departure, and that his firing violated the Uniformed Services Employment Act. The law protects military service members’ rights after absences for military duty.

Regal claimed the firing was because Fluman didn’t give proper notice.

Financial protection for troops sought

A group of U.S. senators is seeking stronger protections for military members against predatory lenders.

According to a story in the Air Force Times, 23 senators, all Democrats, signed a letter sent to the Pentagon that urges defense officials to broaden protections set fourth in the 2007 Military Lending Act.

The letter was in response to a Defense Department initiative to look at the possibility of revising how the Military Lending Act is implemented.

“Congress sent a clear message that such protection was of paramount importance to the financial security and military readiness of our service members,” the letter stated.

The law set an annual interest rate cap of 36 percent on loans made to troops and their families, and it barred using a check to secure a loan, as well as other restrictions.

But the implementing regulations limited the interest rate cap to closed-end payday loans of $2,000 or less and repayable in 91 days or less; closed-end vehicle title loans repayable in 181 days or less; and closed-end tax refund anticipation loans.

The senators argued that the implementation has created gaps that lenders are exploiting.

“Due to the narrow definition of consumer credit, certain lenders are offering predatory loan products to service members at exorbitant triple-digit effective interest rates and loan products that do not include the additional protections envisioned by the law,” the letter stated.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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