The $1.1 trillion spending bill introduced Monday evening in the Senate leaves the vast majority of pension cuts to military retirees intact, only exempting disabled veterans from the controversial provision included in last month’s budget deal. The spending bill amends a section of the bipartisan budget agreement from December that hit the military with reduced retirement pay, while leaving generous benefits for civilian federal retirees untouched. Why?
This is the reality—the civilian federal retirees have their unions and those unions support the Democratic Party. The retired military only have the military associations who do not have the political clout of the unions.
The new spending bill would only restore retirement benefits for 17.5 percent of military retirees. The bill keeps in place the one percent decrease in the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all other military retirees. The change, effective December 2015, affects retirees under the age of 62 and will result in thousands of dollars in lost retirement pay.
It is incumbent upon the military retiree community to let the politicians know that guarding America’s freedom is more important than pushing paper in Washington. To do this I am seeking war stories from veterans that highlight their sacrifices and valor. I ask civilian federal retirees to match those experiences to justify their generous benefits.
Veterans should send their stories to ColonelBruce@gmail.com. They will be reviewed and published with attribution either made or withheld based upon the veteran’s preferences. Shortly I will lead off with a piece about Khe Sanh almost 46 years ago.