The "budget deal" passed by Congress is a disgrace in that the supposed budget cuts are born for the greater part by our military and our veterans.

 

  • I joined the U.S. Army four days out of high school; just after a major pay raise had been granted.
  • I was making $72 a month.
  • And when I got married, I got an additional $20 allowance.
  • And a few short months later I got the really big pay raise of an additional $65 a month in the form of combat pay as I started my first tour in Vietnam.
  • And when I first attempted to leave the service at the end of my first enlistment, during a job interview with a government employee (who was making ten times my salary) in Washington D.C., I was asked: "How many babies did you kill?"
  • At which I returned to base and reenlisted for another six years of service.

I don't personally know of anyone who stayed in the service of this country solely for the paltry retirement benefits.

My ex-father-in-law drove that pushed down the gates of the Auschwitz death camp.

When he retired after twenty five years of service, he bought a small house on a small piece of land in upstate New York and his retirement pension paid the mortgage and taxes and he worked to put food on the table.

Ten years later he was forced to sell his home because his retirement pension would no longer pay the property taxes.

My point is this: Regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether a service member saw combat or sat in a major base camp and dodged rockets, regardless if they spent their careers between stateside and Europe, our military and their families pay a significant price for the honor and privilege of serving this country and military pay and pension is seldom the reason.

To penalize our military members and their families while maintaining a "hands off" policy for government civilian employees is a shameful act of cowardice by every member of congress who voted in favor of this budget.

This beautifully done tribute by videographer John Langskv, Mansions, serves to remind us all of what it means to "serve this nation."

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