Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 19, 2007

Metzger retiring, for now

VALDOSTA — Maj. Jill Metzger is retiring for now, according to the Air Force Times.

Following her alleged abduction and torture in Kyrgyzstan in September 2006, which is still under investigation, Metzger is being temporarily retired by the Air Force for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a statement her father gave to the Air Force Times on July 10. Her father is retired Air Force Col. John Metzger.

Though Maj. Metzger is still classified as active duty, her semi-retired status will begin after she finishes using her annual leave days.

“The Air Force Personnel Evaluation Board approved the placement of Maj. Jill Metzger, a member of the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., on the Temporary Disability Retirement List effective July 17, 2007,” said Capt. Dustin Hart, deputy chief of Moody Public Affairs.

“The board uses this status to separate an individual for a set period of time because of illness or injury that prohibits them from performing service-related duties. The individual is re-evaluated at the expiration of the set time period to determine if they are qualified to return to duty.”

Hart also said, “Air Force men and women placed on the temporary disability retired list are re-evaluated every 18 months to determine if there has been a change in the condition for which he or she was retired. The evaluation may determine if the Air Force member should be permanently retired; discharged with severance pay; or if the member is found fit, can request to return to duty if the person so desires, or remain on the TDRL. The Air Force member may only remain on the TDRL for five years.

“Because of an ongoing investigation and Privacy Act considerations, we are unable to comment further on this case," said Hart.

According to the Air Force Times, Kyrgyz authorities have cast doubt on her account and Internet blogs, message boards, and political Web sites have suggested Metzger faked the abduction and relied on her father’s influence to manipulate the investigation. Col. Metzger scoffed at the accusations, saying that his contacts faded about 10 years into his 20-year retirement, according to the Air Force Times article.

The Air Force has not revealed any elements of its investigation, and Maj. Metzger has not spoken to the media.

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