Courtney Linde, right, said her husband, John Linde Jr., joined a security firm in Israel to help pay for her recovery from cancer.
for discharge review
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie has asked Air Force Secretary James G. Roche to review the impending discharge of a former Hawaii resident recovering from bone cancer whose husband died in a terrorist bombing in Israel.
Abercrombie (D, Honolulu) yesterday called the circumstances facing Airman Courtney Linde "tragic" and said he wanted a quick resolution to the uncertainty about her medical treatment from the Air Force.
Her husband, John M. Linde Jr., was one of three American security officers killed Wednesday in a terrorist bombing of their vehicle while escorting a U.S. diplomat through Gaza in Israel to interview Palestinian applicants for Fulbright scholarships.
Courtney Linde, 21, who is stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, said she was "scared" and didn't know if she would receive any medical coverage from the Air Force after her discharge.
Her mother, Lyn Brown, said the Air Force is contending her daughter's condition existed before she joined the Air Force last year and is not responsible for the medical care after her discharge on Oct. 28.
Brown -- who lives on Maui with her husband, Skip -- said there was no proof her daughter's condition existed prior to enlistment. She said her daughter had finished basic training and was three weeks into technical training when X-rays detected the bone cancer.
Courtney Linde, whose cancer is in remission, has had chemotherapy after surgery to replace her right femur and knee with a titanium rod and knee.
Brown said her daughter needs to be checked for cancer every three months.
Courtney Linde said her husband, who was formerly a U.S. Marine sergeant, had joined the private security firm DynCorp to help pay for her recovery and because of the possibility that the Air Force would not provide medical care to her.
Abercrombie, interviewed by telephone from Washington, D.C., said he made the call to Roche after reading about Airman Linde's situation in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin yesterday.
"They (Air Force officials) are looking into the questions of the discharge and consequences of the discharge," said Abercrombie, a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.
Abercrombie said he felt the Air Force has to try to resolve Linde's predicament "right away" because it raises volatile and emotional questions about the commitment of the U.S. government to its Armed Forces.
"I think it points out to me the disconnect that is there between the administration issuing ringing calls for sacrifice on the part of the country and then being unwilling to follow up on who in fact made the sacrifices," said Abercrombie.