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« Anthony Weiner Should Resign | Main | 'Cool Down, Little Girl' »

Military Service and Broken Promises

By Weeden Nichols
June 7, 2011

During my military career, I discovered some things about myself. Though descended from warriors, I discovered that I was not (and am not) a warrior. I discovered also that I had no taste for military undertakings that were not truly a part of defense. (Many military efforts are represented as defense but, seemingly, are really something else.) At any rate, I decided to be a soldier as a small child, during World War II. Even though I honestly cannot qualify as a warrior, I believe my service was valuable to the United States of America. I did not enter upon a military career for the retirement benefits, but certain promises were made to me nevertheless. One of these was free medical care for myself and my spouse for the rest of our lives following my retirement. Any dependent children would have been included also (my children are middle-aged, and no longer dependent). A few years ago, it was required that my wife and I subscribe to Medicare Part B, in order to receive medical care (a couple hundred dollars a month -- no longer free). Now it is proposed that the earned benefits of military retirement, particularly health care, be reduced again. Any who served for the benefits alone should be sorely disappointed. In my case, I still have the satisfaction of having served, and I am not surprised at broken promises.

Comments (3)

Diane Author Profile Page:

Weeden--I do agree with you that many military efforts have little to do with our country's defense. However, I also believe that anybody who gives years of his or her life to military service should receive the benefits promised when the service ends. My husband is a Vietnam War-era vet. He was a medic who took care of wounded soldiers in Holland and Germany. He now gets services from the VA in Wichita,and for the most part the service is above average. We now have to pay a co-pay because the VA now does means testing for those who use it. Even so we don't pay a great deal out of pocket. That's as it should be. Those of you who served should get what's due you. It's wrong when the government goes back on its promises to citizen soldiers.

Angelo Lopez Author Profile Page:

Thanks Weeden for your service to this country. In this era of austerity and budget cuts, I'm guessing that a lot of government promises are going to be broken.

John Christiansen Author Profile Page:

I spent 23+ years in the Air Force and retired as a Master Sergeant, Personnel Superintendent and went everywhere they assigned me to. From the recruiter's office and all thru those years, we were promised free medical care for the rest of our lives, and was one reason why military pay was so low. My first two years of service my pitiful pay was $78-a-month. We heard these empty promises by the Government every month at mandatory Commanders Call. Now the Government is breaching their contract with us, and is grounds for a class-action lawsuit. Even when you reach Social Security age, under Medicare Part-B, the Government monthly steals almost $100 from your Social Security check. No one has faith in the credibility of the Federal Government; especially with this imposter, who calls himself our President.

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