I wake up every morning and take my freedom for granted. I take for granted that I can reach out to each of you, to make my views heard, to cry out when I feel you are being short-sighted and dismissive. I hold firm to the belief that a single person can have a voice in our great nation, and yet, when it comes time to be heard, I doubt my ability to be heard- especially by men and women such as yourself, who clearly do not have MY best interests at heart.
Who am I you ask?
I am an Air Force Veteran. I served on Active Duty with the Air Force. I worked as a medical technician in a military hospital and in military clinics helping active duty members, retirees, and their families regain their health or stay healthy. Then I served as a Reservist with the Air Force Reserves. Also as a medical technician, I made sure our deploying forces were up to the task, preparing them to face the hardships and the hazards of deploying to war zones.
Now, I am a Military Spouse. I support my spouse as he works more hours than most people for wages that equal less than minimum wage. He is well past the point to get out of the military- only a few years from retiring from the military. At the current rate he expects to get when he retires, we are already planning on one or both of us having to get new jobs or continue to work because retirement will NOT pay our bills. Military retirement already is unacceptable for men and women who sacrifice so much of their time, their lives, their education, their families.
Yet, you all are so quick to throw the military under the bus. You are all so quick to dismiss those who have sacrificed so much so you can sit in your fancy homes, drive your fancy cars, live your couple of years pushing paper and arguing for lobbyists, comfortable in the knowledge that you will get a retirement with six digits for the rest of your lives.
Shame on you!
Shame on you for not sacrificing something for this country. Shame on you for not looking at your own wages. Shame on you for not putting yourselves on the line.
For the past eight years, despite public outcry that crosses party lines, Congress has ignored the cry of the Nation to make decisions to better the country without cutting people off. For the past eight years, Congress has proven over and over that it only has its own interests, those financed by the highest bidders, at heart. For the past eight years, Congress has proven to be only a huge disappointment that reaches into the heart of America.
On December 20, 2103, you are going to vote on the joke you call a bipartisan Ryan-Murray effort to balance the budget. Among the proposals is the section where you throw our military under the bus, AGAIN, to “significantly reduce the retirement of the currently serving military and military retirees (to the tune of $83,000 for an average enlisted retiree, $124,000 for an average officer retiree).” As Ms. Raezer at National Military Family Association states in her article addressing this: “We can’t talk about the harm to one group of our community without talking about the damage long term to the folks serving now if they’re denied the pay raises equal to civilian wage growth. The families of our future retirees are getting a double whammy–one punch is the lower pay raise now and the other is the lower retiree COLAs in the future. At least there will be a catch-up for the retirees when they turn 62. There’s no catch-up on active duty pay losses.”
I challenge each of you to reevaluate where the members of our military lie on your list of priorities. I challenge each of you to consider the sacrifices they make every single day, and compare those to the ones you do not make!
A frustrated American.
If you want to contact Congress as well, please click here. The site is already set up to send your message directly to Congress. It takes less than five minutes. If you wish to send your Congressman a more personal message, which I encourage you to do, you can go here to find their contact information.
PLEASE do not let Congress continue to take our Armed Services for granted.
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