Saturday, December 21, 2013

Congress Cuts War Vet Benefits

With thanks to The Boys of 3/5        []
Click here for related story [The Washington Times]

The new budget, which boosts spending..., includes a provision that would reduce the cost-of-living adjustment for military retirees to 1 percent less than the rate of consumer inflation — and even reduces payments for veterans who were wounded in action.  The bill raises benefits for Civil Service employees and Congress.

Supporters of the Military, to include former Congressman Joe Scarborough condemn these cuts to the Military.

Military pensions and benefits are based on the premise that Military careers are based on "risk" -- very high risk.

The enlistment process promised a 20 year career, consisting of:

1) low pay
2) frequent moves
3) multiple/frequent deployments to combat zones
4) the high probability of injury [or death]
5) living in high stress/dangerous environments
6) long-term disabilities based on demanding physical conditions
7) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

Military killed from WW2 forward:

417,000   WWII
  59,000   Vietnam
  34,000   Korea  
    4,500   Iraq
    2,300   Afghanistan

These figures do not include the tens of thousands of Military who were maimed or suffered permanent disabilities, to include loss of limbs, sight, hearing, and mobility.

In return for their sacrifices while on Active Duty, Military members could retire after 20 years at half pay, with full health benefits, and the authorization to shop at commissaries and PXs -- which used to offer discounts on food and merchandise -- but not so much today; they're better off shopping at Walmart. 

It used to be that Veterans received generous benefits on mortgages and education -- but those have been fine-tuned by Congress so that those perks have eroded;
1) VA mortgages now require significantly greater qualifiers, eliminating many Veterans from the opportunity to buy a home
2)  VA education benefits now expire after a period of time, eliminating education benefits for those unable to use them immediately because they were trying to support their families.

There is no other profession in the US that carries the risks and hardships of a Military career -- 

yet Congress [which now has very few Military Veterans in its ranks] wants to boost its own benefits as well as those of Civil Servants --

while cutting back on the Military retirement and health benefits -- which were verbally guaranteed since WW2.

Perhaps there should be a requirement that candidates for Congress or the White House MUST have served in the Military.  That might alter their perspective on starting wars or regarding our Military as expendable pawns in budget deliberations.