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Disability pay for retired military. (Loud & Clear).

* Time and time again, year after year we go through the same ritual in Congress in reference to our veterans paying for their own military disabilities. And this year is no exception! I see from DAV where it is right on schedule with a great number of Congressmen who knowingly echo their approval of Legislation to right the wrong. They know (or should know) that all their "yes" votes aren't worth casting because the great Congressional. Budget Office (CBO) always says we can't let the veterans of this nation get their rights. So, fellow veterans what must we do to achieve our rights along with the other retired U.S. government employees? It has become an annual ritual on Capitol Hill: let's talk the talk, Let's plan it, but then let the CBO kill it! What we need to do is follow the President and members of Congress around this great country of ours and whenever and wherever they make a speech, we follow with our own speech about the mistreatment of the nation's veterans. The American public will support their veterans whether or not the Congress or the President will, and we can force a positive vote. We can also reject those in Congress who do not wish to right the wrong done to us. If DAV will take up the flag and carry it for us, then all veterans need to support it. Years of continuous disappointments have soured me, and the current method of action has not proven productive. Let's do something different and take it to the American people, just Eke the politicians do.

Guy E. Lively, Major, USA (Ret), Canal Winchester, Ohio

* I served in the Armed Forces, which guarded my country and our way of life, and I was prepared to give my life in their defense. Now retired, I am looking for our elected officials to provide some meaningful legislation that would benefit my comrades and me. However, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) do not support us. Currently, the Pay Restoration Act of 2001 has 72 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate (S 170), and 363 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives (HR 303). Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Congressman Mike Bilirakis (R-FL) are the respective sponsors of these bills. This bill would allow me and countless other retired career military veterans to collect both our service-connected VA disability compensation and earned military retirement pay concurrently, without an offset from either. At present, my disability payment from the government is subtracted from my retirement check. Is this fair? No, not when other federal employees can receive both a VA disability check and a full retirement from their federal government jobs. The disabled military retiree is the only class of federal retiree required to forfeit a dollar-for-dollar amount of military retirement to receive VA disability. At present this means that most enlisted and some warrant officer retirees who are disabled to 100%, lose their entire 20-year retirement. They effectively worked 20 or more years for zero dollars. Some politicians are just tike diapers-they need to be changed on a regular basis, and for the same reason.

Michael H. Oklak, US Army (Ret), South Bend, Indiana
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Article Details
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Author:Lively, Guy E.
Publication:DAV Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Previous Article:Survivor's reunion. (Loud & Clear).
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