Bumped: Senate Passes Reinstatement Provision (9/30) Obama Gives WWII Territorial Guard Vets the Cold Shoulder


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(9/30/09 Original) Barack Obama continues to amaze, and not in a good way.  In the Anchorage Daily News last week:

In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining presidential priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration said Friday it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard.

We can take over the entire healthcare system, but yet not afford to honor the commitment made to 26 elderly members of the Alaska Territorial Guard who patrolled the Aleutian Islands and Alaskan Coast after they were attacked by the Japanese?

This is incredible, just incredible.  Why don’t you go ahead and spit in their face.  It’s only $600 a month!  Honor your commitment to these veterans! Their reasons?

A Senate military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate allows the former Guard members to count their service as part of active military duty, and it reinstates the pension payments.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to fill the pay gap until Congress made a permanent fix, but the White House said Friday it didn’t think it was "appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay."

They performed a invaluable service for the United States when we were at war, which by the way couldn’t be considered state service since Alaska was not yet a state, hello?

The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II. The Army decided this year it would no longer count service in the Guard when it calculates the military’s 20-year minimum for retirement pay — although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, those eligible for pensions saw them decreased in January.

An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would see it decreased if their Territorial Guard service doesn’t count.

Alaska’s Senators Murkowski (Republican) and Begich (Democrat) both condemn this action, and it should receive bipartisan condemnation.  The state of Alaska is currently covering the pensions, and hopefully they will continue to.  Former Governor Sarah Palin wrote a letter to Obama back in January about this, but evidently the Administration doesn’t listen to common sense arguments.

Josh Painter has a round-up of reaction.  Take some time to contact the White House and your Senator to let them know that these men deserve to have their pensions honored.

10/7/09 Update: The Senate passes a provision to reinstate these Vet’s pension.  I’m curious if this needs action by the House or will it just be added in conference?

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  • http://www.citizensinaction.ning.com Ron Austin

    In my opinion Obama does not give a tinker’s damn about anything that does not help his grab for power. He has made the USA into a third world power and has spent trillions of dollars to give to his buddies. He is a joke and needs to be impeached before he does any more damage.
    .-= Ron Austin´s last blog ..HIS ONE MISTAKE ! WHAT WHEN WRONG ? =-.

    • http://1truebeliever.wordpress.com Wickle

      @Ron Austin, Impeached for what?

      Disagreeing with you?

      Last I knew, the grounds for impeachment was “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Until he’s actually broken a law, I think that calling for impeachment is out of line.

      This is the same thing that wild-eyed lefties did for eight years of the Bush administration, calling for his impeachment over the passing of the USAPATRIOT Act, the war in Iraq, etc. … and back then, we called it irresponsible. We were right.

      Frankly, what you’re saying now is no less so.
      .-= Wickle´s last blog ..Untouchable? =-.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Ron Austin, I agree with Wickle, talking about impeachment, when there are no constitutional grounds to do so (and we want to be respecters of the Constitution right?) is not helpful. It won’t change anything, and it just makes us sound shrill.

  • http://1truebeliever.wordpress.com Wickle

    This looks sort of like a situation where they’re trying to save a little money, thinking that no one will particularly care. To an extent, they might have been right … but Gov. Palin’s involvement is going to attract more attention than it might have otherwise.

    I’d have to agree that that kind of calculation isn’t the right or ethical way to make decisions, though. Shot e-mails to Judd Gregg and Jeane Shaheen.
    .-= Wickle´s last blog ..Untouchable? =-.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Wickle, I could think of plenty of other places they could save money.

      1. Fire a couple of Michelle Obama’s staff so she has the same number Laura Bush did – that would probably fund it right there.
      2. Defund the NEA.
      3. Reduce medicare fraud

      Now if they are trying to save money within the DoD budget… make sure theyaren’t paying $100 for hammers, etc. would be a good start :)

      If the ATG were actually state employees I could possibly see their point (but they still agreed to it before, so it’s still going back on a commitment). But they were federal employees since Alaska was just a territory then.

      Thanks for contacting your Senators! (Didn’t realize you were from New Hampshire… that explains a few things… just kidding!)

      I love New Hampshire, beautiful state.

      • http://1truebeliever.wordpress.com Wickle

        @Shane Vander Hart, For the record … I live in NH. I was raised mostly in Texas, and I’m a North Carolina native.

        But, yes, the state that competes with Vermont for highest percentage of atheists … that’s us. Losing NH rapidly, combined between the Free Staters and the Massachusetts invasion. (There’s another term, but I don’t like to use it …)

        As for places to save money … heck, why not hire fewer czars? I’ll bet one or two of their salaries would cover it.
        .-= Wickle´s last blog ..Untouchable? =-.