Thursday, July 19, 2007

Temporary retirement official for Metzger
By Patrick Winn - Staff writerPosted : Thursday Jul 19, 2007 12:13:36 EDT

Maj. Jill Metzger’s much-debated placement on “Temporary Disability Retirement” status is official, according to the Air Force.

Metzger, whose claims of being kidnapped and beaten in Kyrgyzstan are still under investigation, will receive pay and benefits during her temporary retirement. Though Metzger has not yet spoken to the media, her family said she was professionally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by physicians at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Temporary retirement appointments are somewhat uncommon. Metzger is among roughly 230 granted this year so far. There were 516 last year, 459 in 2005 and 325 in 2004, according to the Air Force.

According to Air Force policy, she’ll be re-examined within 18 months. If she’s found to be fit, she can return to duty. If not, her temporary retirement could continue or she could be recommended for permanent retirement or discharge with severance pay. Airmen cannot stay on temporary retirement for more than five years.

Metzger is now with her husband, Capt. Joshua Mayo, an officer stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The Air Force Office of Special Investigation — which employs Mayo — continues to investigate Metzger’s account of abduction and torture. The major has said she was kidnapped from a mall in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, near Manas Air Base, where she was stationed.

Metzger resurfaced three days after her September disappearance with her blonde hair cut short and dyed brown. Internet speculation on blogs and message boards has suggested she faked the abduction, though Metzger said she escaped by striking one of her captors and fleeing into the desert.

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