LANHAM, Md., Dec. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Recent political uncertainties are greatly affecting our nation's military and veterans. AMVETS is speaking out against recent decisions that are gravely impacting the benefits our uniformed service members have fought for and earned through their honored service to our country.
There is an unsettling focus being aimed toward our military and veterans in an effort to "trim the fat" during budget cuts. Unfortunately, the government is cutting into the muscle of our country, not the fat. The recently House passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 seeks to penalize current and future military members who have served our nation for over 20 years by implementing a 1 percent reduction to uniformed service retired pay Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for those under age 62, and the Department of Defense plans to possibly close the 178 state side commissaries, decrease housing allowances, and eliminate our military's primary news source since the Civil War, the Stars and Stripes, which would tremendously affect the quality of life for countless service members and veterans.
"Once again our congress uses military retirees to find ways to cut the nation's budget," AMVETS National Executive Director Stewart Hickey said. "Maybe they could look in some areas where no one has contributed anything to this country first. Veterans, military, and military retirees are fed up with being the bill payer every time congress wants to cut, go to the real fat at the pentagon, don't cut the trigger pullers; cut the massive staffs. We need more PFCs and fewer generals. How many receive government handouts for doing nothing? If congress wanted to they could make real cuts in wasteful programs, but they always take the easy route and hit the military and military retirees."
Less than 1 percent of our nation has chose to serve this country. That choice is different from any other career path and these men and women take on the full weight and responsibility to protect the United States and fulfill our national security requirements. The benefits they have earned should not be so easily cut. These decisions not only have devastating long-term impacts on our military retirees and veterans but also will greatly diminish uniform service career retention, which in turn adversely impacts national security.
AMVETS understands the importance to rid the government of wasteful spending and believes there is a need for each to do their part and sacrifice for the overall good of our economic future. However, when there are programs such as the Air Force's new long-range bomber, which may cost as much as $81 billion for the 100 planes planned, being put ahead of the earned benefits and quality of life of those who have already paid an enormous price to be able to receive them, the decisions being made need to be questioned.
"Congress, the President, and the DoD seem to have either forgotten the promises we so sacredly made to our heroic men and women who served in our military forces, or they are choosing to blatantly disregard those promises," AMVETS National Commander John Mitchell said. "Our veterans and military have given enough and sacrificed enough. These cuts need to stop and AMVETS will continue to fight to protect the earned benefits of America's honored warfighters."
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America's armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation's citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans' service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.AMVETS.org.
Andrew Keirn AMVETS National Communications Director (301) 683-4038 (607) 745-5499