The sound of promises breaking

It’s funny, ironic, disingenuous, and sad that the clamor of support for the men and women who answered the nation’s call to arms has changed to a clamor for the evisceration of the benefits that were promised to them for risking their lives to protect those unwilling to serve.

Even though the bullets are still flying and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan, the elected and appointed leaders of our nation are shamelessly backing away from the commitments they made to those in uniform.

It started with “pension reform”, which is a blatant and arrogant rewriting of history in order to shave a few billion dollars off of the promised pension benefit that those who devoted twenty or more years of their lives to the nation earned.  When I enlisted I was promised that if I served a career in the military, I would receive a pension that included a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that was based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), not the CPI minus one percent.

I served a total of 27 years under that assumption.  Unfortunately, Senators Ryan and Murray (neither of whom has served a single day in uniform or watched their friends go home in a body bag) decided that my assumption was incorrect and that the promise my recruiter made in 1984 was a lie.

Awesome.

Then came the retraction in TRICARE Prime service area availability.  It turns out that if you retired from the military and took advantage of TRICARE Prime, you were entitled to utilize the program wherever you decided to plant your flag.  As of last October, however, 171,000 retirees found that the promise was subject to the expedient whims of the people who promised such coverage.  That is in addition to the intractable whining by those who have not earned the benefit of subsidized TRICARE Prime premiums and are eager to make sure that veteran retirees pay “a fair amount” for their health care.

Awesome.

Then came the news that the pentagon is working to eviscerate the commissary system.  Sure, I am now retired and can shop at the local supermarket, but since I live by a military base I don’t.  I shop at the commissary because it is a benefit that I earned through my service in a couple of wars and a few decades of peacetime service. Again, my recruiter is a liar because he promised me something that the DOD has decided I probably don’t need.

Awesome.

I say thank you to everyone who wants to cut the benefits that military men and women have earned in the service of the nation.  You have confirmed that you lack the moral courage to actually pick up a rifle and use it on the enemies of the United States, but you have the shameful mendacity to plunge a knife in the backs of those who have.

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Military/Veteran Transitionnews for 1/23/14

Military transition and veterans affairs news of the day for Thursday, January 23 2014

Good news story of the day

Islandia mayor hopes to build more houses for veterans  (Long Island News Day)  Islandia has built several houses for returning members of the armed forces in the village — and the mayor has his eye on building more homes for veterans on county-owned land.

New beach house will help wounded warriors heal invisible wounds  (KFDM.com)  A beach home on the Bolivar Peninsula, could become a place for wounded warriors to heal invisible wounds.

Military transition

Premier transitioning now available to Soldiers, but command support required  (Army News Service)  Soldiers now have the military’s best career transition program, which the Army began re-engineering about three years ago, said the program’s director.

Coastal Flow Fulfills Veterans Training Commitment  (Yahoo Finance)  Coastal Flow Measurement today announced that they’ve successfully reached their initial commitment to fully train 15 returning veterans for careers in hydrocarbon measurement.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to hold job fair for military veterans, spouses in Montgomery  (AL.com)  A job fair for military veterans and their spouses is slated for Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery.

Shaheen Promotes Job Creation During Nashua Stop  (Patch.com)  .S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, visited Monument Construction, LLC on Jan. 21 in Nashua to tour the company’s building and showcase their efforts to hire New Hampshire veterans.

Veterans

Military veterans: Natural born CEOs?  (Fortune)  For decades, former generals or officers frequently found high-flying new careers in corporate executive suites, and their leadership was almost universally lauded.

ParkeBank Donates a Mobile Home to the South Jersey Vietnam Veterans Association (SJVVA)  (PRNewswire)  ParkeBank, headquartered in Sewell, Gloucester County, New Jersey, has recently donated a Mobile Home to the South Jersey Vietnam Veterans Association (SJVVA) located in Glassboro, New Jersey.

Batavia man named Illinois Veteran of the Month  (The Beacon-News)  John Carr of Batavia didn’t just look out for veterans from a desk tucked away in an office in Geneva.

Veterans affairs

VA’s software bug exposes personal info of more than 5,000 veterans  (Washington Business Journal)  A Jan. 15 software glitch exposed personal data of as many as 5,351 veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs says, according to FedScoop.

Nine veterans recently received 100 percent rating for disabilities  (The Norman Transcript)  Our volunteer of the week is a lady all of those who visit Veterans Corner will know.

Feds push to enroll underserved Native veterans  (The Taos News)  The Department of Veterans Affairs officials who traveled from Washington, D.C. last week to visit tribes across New Mexico had hoped to reach former service members like Eloisa Apachito.

Benefits

Pentagon Proposes Plan to Gut Commissary’s Budget  (Military.com)  The Defense Department is discussing a $1 billion cut over  the next three years to the commissary’s budget in a move that could lead to a  widespread closure of stores, Pentagon and industry officials said.

Broad VA bill would repeal military pension cut, cost $30 billion  (Washington Post)  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday discussed details of the massive Veterans Affairs bill he introduced last week, saying he is open to paying for the measure with savings from overseas contingency operations (OCO), formerly known as the global war on terror.

Sanders: Veterans bill will get bipartisan support, despite few details on how to pay for it  (Stars and Stripes)  Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is confident that lawmakers from both parties will support the initiatives in his wide-ranging legislative package for veterans if it comes up for a chamber vote next week.

Veterans issue on fast legislative track  (Quad-City Times)  State lawmakers are marching at double time to move bills designed to induce returning veterans to live or relocate in Iowa.

Veterans Benefit Seminar  (Tri-State Media)  Boonville American Legion Post 200 will host a Veterans Benefit Seminar Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m.

Senate bill would restore COLA reduction for military retirees  (Navy Times)  The Senate is poised to consider a massive veterans bill that not only would improve education, health and employment benefits for former troops, it would restore the cost-of-living adjustment reduction for military retirees set by the Bipartisan Budget Act.

CJCS’ top enlisted advisor speaks to DOD initiatives  (Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs)  On the cusp of one of Team Minot’s most demanding inspections this year, Airmen here welcomed the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia.

Senate to take up major overhaul of VA benefits  (Federal News Radio)  The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee said Wednesday he has been assured the full Senate soon will take up a massive omnibus bill that veterans groups say is the most sweeping update to veterans’ benefits in modern memory.

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Have a great day!