Tom Slear, a retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, complains in the pages of the Washington Post that he makes too much money.
Though I spent more than five years on active duty during the 1970s as an Army infantry officer and an additional 23 years in the Reserves, I never fired a weapon other than in training, and I spent no time in a combat zone. I returned to active duty for five months in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War, but I was assigned to the Pentagon. My hazardous duty consisted of a daily drive on New York Avenue before its upgrade.
I am hardly unique. Despite the extended operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly half of the 4.5 million active-duty service members and reservists over the past decade were never deployed overseas. Among those who were, many never experienced combat.
So, because he was an office wienie pogue, he thinks that we should pay for him slacking off for 28 years. Can I mention that he retired in 2001?
Simply put, I’m getting more than I gave. Tricare for military retirees and their families is so underpriced that it’s more of a gift than a benefit. A fourfold increase in premiums would leave Tricare safely on the side of hearty largesse, yet the Pentagon’s attempts to raise premiums by as little as 10 percent have had shelf lives shorter than ice cubes.
The budget agreement last year included a trim of 1 percent in the cost-of-living increase in military retirement pay for those under 62. Predictably, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Officers Association of America would have none of it. “Breaking faith” is how the MOAA’s chairman characterized the deal.
So, you know what, Tom? There’s a box that you can check on your income tax form that allows you to pay more every year to the government, if you think you should. How many times have you one that? I’m guessing the answer would be “never”.
But, just because you don’t think you earned your pension and think that you get too much, please don’t put that on the rest of us. Please don’t think that because you were a desk ape at the Pentagon, the rest of us should pay for your pension – many of us didn’t fly a desk and actually did the stuff that people think that soldiers and Marines do. I have never heard a retiree say that he made too much money.
Or maybe your intent was to set up a military class warfare argument where People Other than Grunts and People Who Were Grunts argue over who should get their benefits they earned and who shouldn’t. Maybe set up a point system based on the number of miles we walked and nights spent sleeping in the mud. That’s a losing position, too.
Forfeiting 1 percent of military retirement pay would not shortchange those wounded and disabled in combat, the ones most deserving of benefits.
Who, exactly do you think you are to tell me how my money should be spent and how much I can afford?
In this time of excessive expenditures for government pensions, wouldn’t a very small decrease in pay to military retirees be reasonable, particularly during the period of their lives when they are fully capable of civilian employment?
In this time of excessive expenditures, wouldn’t it be prudent to ask those who never worked a day in their lives to accept less? Wouldn’t it be prudent to ship illegal aliens back to where they came from before they get on the public teat? Wouldn’t it be prudent to stop tax breaks for illegal aliens?
Isn’t there a thousand other places that can be cut before you start telling veterans to dig deep? But, traditionally, it’s always veterans who are asked to sacrifice first, while the politicians refuse to do the hard work of actually cutting the largesse out of the budget. Largesse like in Congressional payrolls, retirements and staff, for example.
This time veterans are not going quietly.
Thanks to Chockblock for the link.
Category: Veterans Issues