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    KFOR Multi-National Battle Group – East Legal Office resolves old claim, reimburses Leposavic man for damage to his property

    KFOR Multi-National Battle Group – East Legal Office resolves old claim, reimburses Leposavic man for damage to his property

    Photo By Capt. Jason Sweeney | Multi-National Battle Group - East Commander Col. Nick Ducich meets Milan Vulovic in...... read more read more

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO

    09.13.2018

    Story by Capt. Jason Sweeney 

    Multinational Battle Group - East (KFOR)

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – A little sleuthing by the Multi-National Battle Group – East (MNBG-E) Command Judge Advocate’s office allowed a Kosovar claimant to receive payment for damage to his property that occurred five years prior.

    “This case is an example of how we in KFOR will make every effort to resolve lingering claims and do what’s right by the people of Kosovo,” MNBG-E Commander Col. Nick Ducich said.

    In April, MNBG-E Soldiers attended the St. Vasilije Ostroški Festival in Leposavic in Northern Kosovo. During the festival, a local man named Milan Vulovic approached MNBG-E Military Police and told them of a claim for damage to his property dating back to 2013. The MPs put him in touch with 1st Lt. Pamela Flores, the MNBG-E legal assistance and claims officer, who was at the festival.

    Vulovic said he lives on the side of a mountain above Leposavic and that one night five years ago, two U.S. Army Humvees and an SUV took a wrong turn and drove onto his property. One of the Humvees then got stuck in his garden.

    Vulovic and his family came out of their house to see what was going on, fearful that some kind of military operation was underway. An interpreter who was with the U.S. convoy apologized and explained the situation. Vulovic got his tractor to help extract the Humvee, to no avail, and stayed out all night trying to assist the Soldiers. Everyone was wet and cold so he invited them into his house to get warm.

    He used his firewood to create a signal to U.S. helicopters to help locate the Humvee, which eventually was extracted, but after damage to the property was incurred.

    Soldiers advised Vulovic to file a claim at Camp Nothing Hill, a nearby Kosovo Force (KFOR) base. He filed a claim for reimbursement for damage to his fruit trees, vegetables, irrigation plumbing, garden, rakia distillery and tractor, and for the cost of the firewood. Every year since then, he checked in with U.S. Soldiers about the claim, but could get no resolution. Camp Nothing Hill has no legal section and Soldiers frequently rotate through. With so much time passed, the paperwork appeared to have been lost.

    After listening to his story, Flores told him she would do her due diligence.

    “He was very nice, very patient, very understanding,” she said.

    When Flores got back to Camp Bondsteel, she and a contracted paralegal named Sasha Sokolovski began researching the claim. However, no paperwork or records could be found.

    “We had nothing, basically,” Sokolovski said. “We had only his word.”

    Sokolovski found an interpreter who worked for KFOR in 2013 who recalled the incident. Through additional phone calls to contacts, the original KFOR interpreter was located who confirmed the convoy incident and damage done to Mr. Vulovic’s property.

    Flores, Sokolovski and paralegal Staff Sgt. Nicholas Weichers visited the claimant’s property to investigate and their findings supported that an incident had indeed occurred in 2013.

    The claimant and the MNBG-E legal office came up with a settlement. On Aug. 28, the legal team met with the claimant at a restaurant in Leposavic where he signed a settlement agreement. He signed the document on Saint Ilija Day.

    “He was very happy,” Flores said. “He said Saint Ilija is looking out for us.”

    On Sept. 11, Ducich went to Leposavic to meet with Vulovic.

    “I wanted to thank the claimant for his patience and willingness to work with us to resolve this issue even after the passage of five years,” Ducich said.

    “We don’t want to leave any claim unattended,” Flores said. “We followed through to ensure his claim was fully investigated and resolved.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.13.2018
    Date Posted: 09.13.2018 03:11
    Story ID: 292536
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

    Web Views: 467
    Downloads: 1
    Podcast Hits: 0

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