Letters to the Editor

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MILITARY: Retired pay is not a property right

Letter by Lewis E. Pugh Jr., Puyallup on Oct. 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm | 11 Comments »
October 3, 2011 2:09 pm

The Department of Military Finance Center (DFAS) has reported that more than $82 million of military retired/retainer pay is now being forwarded as a marital property asset to former spouses of career military personal each month. More than $3 million is from Washington state.

In 1981, the U.S . Supreme Court ruled that military retired pay was not a community property asset (McCarty vs. McCarty). In 1982, Rep. Patricia Schroeder was able to attach the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) to the Department of Defense Authorization legislation. The USFSPA legislation was even backdated so as to remove the decision that had been made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is now estimated that more than 200,000 career military personnel who became divorced, and who have retired, have been placed in a state of involuntary servitude to a former (0ften) remarried spouse for life. Career military personnel often referred to as the retiree remain subject to federal laws and military regulations which control the daily earning of military retired/retainer pay – one of which is being subject to recall to active duty.

It’s time the USFSPA law be repealed. Please sign the White House petition.

 

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