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From: Col. Rick White,
U.S. Army (retired)
Received: Oct. 9
As I write this letter, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to fund death benefits for the families of our men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
We (or rather Congress) should not have allowed this to get to this point. I was always taught there were consequences for one’s actions. Obviously, many in our nation’s capital either forgot or missed out on this life lesson.
I’m not even going to address military retiree or veteran pensions (limited by space and civility) because by their inaction, Congress has already told the public that these issues are not important to them.
Congress recently opposed military strikes on Syria because “their constituents were opposed” to such action. A sure bet they haven’t asked for constituent input on the aforementioned issues. I can only surmise our representatives only seek constituent input when it is convenient or self-serving.
To not fund earned and promised benefits to the families of our fallen in the first place was appalling. Even more appalling is Congress allowing several not-for-profit veterans organizations to step up and provide donations in the absence of earned death benefits because Congress has not done their job.
On the House floor Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., went so far as to blame the president for not funding death benefits for the fallen. Federal funding (the budget) is voted upon in the House before it is sent to the Senate. Last I checked, the president is not a member of the House or Senate.
This childish finger-pointing is not productive and should cease. Was the legislation to cover their own behinds and self-serving in order to be re-elected?
House Republicans continue to ask for talks and negotiations. Time for talk is long past; now is the time for action.
Earned veterans benefits should be non-negotiable. Regardless of your political affiliation, regardless if you are a veteran and regardless of whom you voted for in the past, everyone should contact their senator to let them know that not funding these death benefit entitlements is morally and totally wrong and unacceptable.
And while you’re on the phone to Washington, place another call to your representative in the House and voice your dissatisfaction over how this has all been handled from day one.
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