Friday, November 1, 2013

The Price of Serving.

 "Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."  — Adlai E.   Stevenson, Jr.  

How are our service men and their families compensated for their patriotism?

Every time a pay raise comes up for the military they usually receive next to nothing or nothing at all. While our soldiers are fighting and dying in the Middle East their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low rent housing.
However our own U.S. Congress votes themselves a raise yearly, and what you might not know is that they only have to be in Congress for one term to receive a pension that is  more than $15,000 per month and most use their office to make  themselves millionaires.

If military personnel stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7 they may receive a pension of $1,000  per month which is below the poverty rate (A majority retire at a lower rank.), while the very people who placed
them in harms way receive a pension of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected officials, who start the wars, pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting. As of 2007, the average annuity for retired members of Congress is between $36,000 and $63,000.

What's a Military Family Worth? 

I think the vast differences in compensation between the victims of the September 11th, and those who die serving the country in uniform, are profound. No one is really talking about it either because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11th.
People, who lost a family member in the September 11th attack, are getting an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.  Keep in mind that some of the people that are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. I also learned that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11th families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those killed in embassy bombings are now asking for compensation as well. 

There is no movement or call to increase compensation to families who lost a soldier in combat.

If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $12,420 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get a
Death Gratuity of $100,000.00 to pay for cost to transport the body and burial connected services. If the soldier chose a Service members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) $27.00 per month is deducted from his pay, the SGLI payment is $400,000 unless the member elected a lesser amount or declined coverage in writing.  If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month (below the poverty rate) until you remarry. There's also a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18.  When the child hits 18, those payments end. 
Sources:  Adlai E.   Stevenson, Jr. Library, Rush and is the only fact checking site I trust because they link to their source but as a precaution I read the info at those links then research that info over the internet to verify the links information.

How are our Veterans treated?

 Even though we were told that the ACA (Obamacare) would not have any effect on Veterans medical care I have learned from personal experience the VA is cutting back on the amounts and types of medications given to Vet’s. In addition they have cut the monthly wellness checks from once a month to once every 3 to 4 months. The reasons I was given were because of the increase in the number of Veterans requiring medical care and to keep from having to hire more Doctors.
 Basically this amounts to not funding the Veteran’s care while increasing spending on other items such as welfare, food stamps, etc. This administration has also refused to give Veterans a COLA allowance since it has been in control. Apparently the money allocated to the VA was needed to give bonuses to VA employees for maintaining backlogs in processing claims and to pay for multimillion dollar training seminars in Florida.
 More recently we have seen this administration and Democrats use Veterans as a pawn in trying to force a tax increase by closing access to Vets open air memorials.  Dr. Martin Luther King showed us the power that can be wielded by small organized groups through the use of civil disobedience. When will Veterans join forces and use this same tactic of civil disobedience? We saw a start when the WW2 Vets tore down the barricades at their Monument. You stood up and fought the armed enemy that the government designated; you came home injured or broken and now act like you have no spine.


 Anyone for standing up now?

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69 years old married 20 YEARS. Have a boy 21 and girl 19 plus two grown daughters and 3 Grandchildren. Served in Vietman. Combat wounded.In country 3 times. longest tour 8 months. Rated as totally disabled from injuries and PTSD. Friend of Bill W.

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