Hello fellow travelers;
I am growing tired of the whining from former military and so-called advocates of the same. I do not wish to complain about the recent budget passed by Congress. I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me, as I spent my military time doing what I felt was right for my country. That’s correct! I did NOT serve my country for the monies or the benefits.
Yes, I was promised (verbally) the same benefits that others were at the time of enlistment. However, as time went on, there was the realization that it would never come to pass.
First, in 1982, the Federal Government decided it was all but illegal for a military retiree to receive all of their retirement pay. The Uniformed Services former Spouses Protection Act ensured that after 10 years of being married to a service member, the civilian spouse received up to 50% of the retirement pay. (No matter the reason for the divorce or guilty party.) Right now, after being retired since 1997, I am loosing 45% of my retirement pay to a woman I haven’t even wanted to see since 1986. Never mind that she made my life a living hell for 11 years. I could go on about her, but all you have to do is see the hanger marks in my shirts to know what happened.
Then along came the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Act). Literally hundreds of bases have been closed in areas many military retirees have called home. With the closings came the loss of the commissary, the exchange, and medical and dental benefits. The only people who cared about them were the retirees having to foot the bill for the extra expenses incurred. Sure, there is TRICARE, but what happened to the free health care we were promised?
Speaking of TRICARE! As of October 2013, TRICARE Prime was reduced to only areas around an active duty base. Leaving the retirees living away from the bases on TRICARE Standard/Extra, with a much higher deductible and co-pay. (Leave it to the Federal Government to take the benefits from those who need, or deserve it, and give “entitlement” to those who least need them.)
Those are but three of the degradation of benefits having occurred since I joined the Marine Corps in 1975. Many others have occurred even before then.
I came to realize, many years ago, that I was but a pawn in the Federal Governments game. I mean nothing to them and never will. (The lip service is there only to convince the masses.) I will never be rich off of what I was promised, nor will I ever receive the respect, they claim I deserve.
If you are a Military retiree, and want to continue to complain about not getting a pay raise for the next few years, maybe you should reflect on why you spent that much time in the military. If you still feel you deserve more…. Go to Mexico then sneak back in. Then you can have all of the benefits you want. You can beat the Federal Government at their own game that way.