A-21582, FEBRUARY 16, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 491

A-21582: Feb 16, 1928

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MEDICAL TREATMENT - NATIONAL GUARD ENLISTED MAN RETURNING FROM ENCAMPMENT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD APPLIED FOR AND WAS GRANTED PERMISSION TO RETURN FROM AN ENCAMPMENT TO THE HOME STATION OF HIS ORGANIZATION IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT FURNISHED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES FOR AN INJURY SUSTAINED WHILE EN ROUTE. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF MRS. OF WHICH GROBNER WAS A MEMBER. PURSUANT TO PROPER ORDERS AND WAS ABOUT TO RETURN TO THE HOME STATION OF THE ORGANIZATION AT NEW YORK. SERGEANT GROBNER REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED BY HIS COMMANDING OFFICER VERBAL PERMISSION TO MAKE THE JOURNEY TO THE HOME STATION IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION.

A-21582, FEBRUARY 16, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 491

MEDICAL TREATMENT - NATIONAL GUARD ENLISTED MAN RETURNING FROM ENCAMPMENT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD APPLIED FOR AND WAS GRANTED PERMISSION TO RETURN FROM AN ENCAMPMENT TO THE HOME STATION OF HIS ORGANIZATION IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT FURNISHED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES FOR AN INJURY SUSTAINED WHILE EN ROUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO COL. J. WESTON MYERS, UNITED STATES PROPERTY AND DISBURSING OFFICER, NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD, FEBRUARY 16, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR SEVENTEENTH INDORSEMENT DATED JANUARY 27, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON VOUCHERS SUBMITTED IN FAVOR OF MRS. HENRY KELLY, JR., FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF PAYMENTS MADE BY HER FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION OF HER BROTHER, HENRY I. GROBNER, A SERGEANT IN THE NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD.

IT APPEARS THAT THE NATIONAL GUARD ORGANIZATION, OF WHICH GROBNER WAS A MEMBER, HAD PARTICIPATED IN AN ENCAMPMENT AT PINE CAMP, N.Y., PURSUANT TO PROPER ORDERS AND WAS ABOUT TO RETURN TO THE HOME STATION OF THE ORGANIZATION AT NEW YORK, N.Y. SERGEANT GROBNER REQUESTED AND WAS GRANTED BY HIS COMMANDING OFFICER VERBAL PERMISSION TO MAKE THE JOURNEY TO THE HOME STATION IN THE PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE ORGANIZATION. WHILE EN ROUTE THE AUTOMOBILE IN WHICH SERGEANT GROBNER WAS RIDING WAS STRUCK BY ANOTHER CAR AND HE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED. DUE TO THE NATURE OF HIS INJURIES, NO SERVICE OF GOVERNMENT FACILITIES BEING AVAILABLE, IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE SERGEANT GROBNER TO OSSINING HOSPITAL, WHERE HE REMAINED UNDER MEDICAL CARE FOR 19 DAYS. THE PATIENT NOT HAVING THE FUNDS TO PAY THE CHARGES, THE MONEY WAS ADVANCED TO HIM BY HIS SISTER, WHO NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT ON THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED FOR DECISION.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE ENLISTED MEN OF A NATIONAL GUARD ORGANIZATION ARE INJURED WHILE EN ROUTE TO OR FROM AN ENCAMPMENT UNDER PROPER ORDERS WITH A PART OF THE MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT OF THE ORGANIZATION TO WHICH THEY BELONG THEY ARE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1924, 43 STAT. 364, IF NO SERVICE OR GOVERNMENT FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE, TO NECESSARY MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CARE AND TREATMENT FURNISHED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 196.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE ENLISTED MAN WHO WAS INJURED WAS EN ROUTE FROM THE ENCAMPMENT TO THE HOME STATION OF HIS ORGANIZATION. BUT NO ORDERS REQUIRED HIM TO PROCEED IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, NOR WAS SUCH TRAVEL REQUIRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ORGANIZATION OF WHICH HE WAS A MEMBER. ON THE CONTRARY, HIS TRAVEL IN A PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE WAS VOLUNTARY, OF HIS OWN SEEKING, FOR HIS PLEASURE AND CONVENIENCE, AND THE PERMISSION GRANTED HIM TO SO TRAVEL WAS IN EFFECT A RELIEF FROM FURTHER DUTY WITH HIS ORGANIZATION; NO MILITARY CONTROL IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENCAMPMENT OF HIS ORGANIZATION THEREAFTER ATTACHED TO HIM. UPON HIS DEPARTURE FROM THE CAMP BY MEANS OF CONVEYANCE OF HIS OWN CHOOSING HE WAS NO LONGER AT AN ENCAMPMENT HELD UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 94 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT; AND IF INJURED WHILE SO TRAVELING AFTER RELIEF FROM CAMP AND FROM DUTY WITH HIS ORGANIZATION OR A DETACHMENT OR UNIT THEREOF HE IS NOT ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1924, TO MEDICAL OR HOSPITAL TREATMENT NOR TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS FOR AN INJURY IN LINE OF DUTY AT AN ENCAMPMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHERS IS NOT AUTHORIZED.