March 9, 2006

Vets have earned their benefits

Great letter in the Reno Gazette-Journal lays it out quite nicely:

There should be no fees placed on retiree military medical care as the care is not a give-away benefit, but an earned obligation of the United States government resulting from military service, military policy and congressional promises.

For more years than I care to remember, Congress consistently explained low military pay (well below cost-of-living, inflation, civilian equivalent, etc.) as accounting for the "retirement benefits of no-cost lifetime medical care." For years, warriors heard the congressional explanation, and didn't like it, but sacrificed quality of living, long periods of separation from loved ones, and life-threatening conditions in service to our nation, fully expecting the government to keep its word. Congress was clearly stating that military members were purchasing no-cost health care and other retirement benefits from the inadequate pay being held back at the time of service.

Now, the leadership of the U.S. government has no qualms of penalizing our warriors even in time of war, betraying past, current and future guardians of our nation. Not only are military retirees forced to pay medical care fees, they also are required to do so from the pittance received in military and Social Security compensation, which is correlated to low wages while on active duty.

Ed De Yonge, Reno

Let's just remember who exactly is the current "leadership of the U.S. government" and hold them accountable in November. Democrats have proposed bill after bill to support our soldiers and veterans only to have the bills shot down in committee or voted down along straight party lines if the bill manages to make it to the floor.

Our veterans deserve so much more than Republican-controlled Washington is giving them.

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