Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What 'Support the Troops' Really Means...
The Bush administration said recently that it "strongly opposes" key military pay and benefit gains tossed into their fiscal 2008 defense bill. The initiatives the administration "strongly oppose" include: (1) a military pay raise for next January of 3.5 percent; (2) lowering the age to 60 to start the reserve retirement annuities for reserve component members by the length of their future mobilizations; and (3) expanding eligibility for Combat-Related Special Compensation to servicemembers forced by combat disabilities to retire short of 20 years.
Our sons and daughters continue to be sent off to confront the quagmire in Iraq. Mr. Bush & Co. not only do not care about veterans (see post below), but they also have a special deal for active duty troops - refusing to go along with a 3.5% pay raise for them. And the irony is that this money would be taken from them while they continue to do their professional best to make the best of a bad situation. That same money would then be available to add to the $1/2 trillion already thrown at Iraq.

So do you really still buy the 'Support the Troops' b.s. coming from the administration, the Repugs, and yes the Democrats, who so far have only made noise?

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Will G.I.'s vote for in 2008?

(Yes, I know it's been awhile since I last posted - I plan to do so now again maybe once a week leading up to the elections)

On a recent national radio show, the above question was asked. I just couldn't help myself, so I sent in the following response:

As a 27-year veteran, your discussion about how candidates can get the votes of military people (and veterans) is full of irony. What should candidates think about, in my opinion?

  1. First, we send our sons and daughters off to war, and then tie them up in a bureaucratic morass when they seek deserved health care while still on active duty and as veterans. We need the commitment to complete, responsive, and free health care to veterans – no questions asked, no delays in treatment, no disgraceful medical facilities, period. It is time for political leaders to step up to their responsibilities, regardless of their political persuasion. And, it’s time for our civilian leadership in the DoD and VA to remove all obstacles involved.
  2. Our veterans crowd the ranks of the homeless and street people from the Vietnam war onwards. Homelessness and poverty are a national shame. How much more so for those who have fought and served for this country?
  3. For all of my time on active duty, I was required to carry a Geneva Convention Card and I was required to understand and get updated training on the international rules of warfare and prisoner treatment. If we do not accept these agreed upon rules, we become no better than those whom we fight against. Restore the validity of the Geneva conventions, not just because it is morally right to do so, but because it protects OUR service men and women as well.
  4. We must always be prepared to defend our right to exist as a country and to maintain our special place in world affairs as a democratic nation. As we have done for most of our history (especially during the Cold War), we must use warfare as an absolute last resort when all other possibilities have been exhausted, not as a pre-emptive method of carrying out political strategies.
  5. Finally, I will support the candidate who best can find an honorable way to remove our troops from Iraq & Afghanistan as soon as possible. We are now in an almost impossible situation no matter which way we turn. So, many veterans, like myself will be asking ‘Who put us in this kind of position, and who has the best approach to ending our presence in both countries?”, and we will vote accordingly.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link