Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: military retirees

Oct.
3rd

MILITARY: Retired pay is not a property right

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

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Sep.
28th

MILITARY: Defense cuts will hurt state economy

Re: “Specter of big defense cuts prompts big worries” (TNT, 9-25).

Federal Transfer Funds (FTF) – monies entering the state to pay for federal commitments – represent a good portion of the economy of Washington state due to its several military installations and large military retiree population.

In the 2010 fiscal year, $3.737 billion was paid to fulfill commitments to 70,983 military retirees, their dependents and 8,373 retiree widows in this state. More than $1 billion of this is retiree retention pay. With most of this spent in the state boosting businesses, creating new jobs and reducing unemployment, it

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March
23rd

MILITARY: All of us must to do our part in this mess

I joined the Army in 1968 and retired in 1988. Yes, I was promised free medical care for life. The courts later held that even though there was a verbal contract, it wasn’t enforceable.

I retired with disabilities and have since undergone more than a few surgeries for those disabilities and am facing more. My retirement pay is reduced by the amount Veterans Affairs pays me for disabilities. Now I pay a co-pay and yearly insurance for medical.

Yes, I was lied to and there is some animosity about this. I have founded and run a small corporation

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March
18th

MILITARY: Retirees swindled out of promised free health care

Re:”The Pentagon’s Achilles’ heel: Health care for retirees” (TNT, 3-16).

Lawrence Korb’s article does not paint the whole picture. Because military retirees age 65 and older were kicked out of the military health system in 1995, they initiated a lawsuit decided by the U.S. Appeals Court in 2002 against them.

In 1956, Congress changed wording in U.S. Code from “shall provide” free medical care for 20 or more years of service to “may provide on a space/capability.”

The court found Congress did not acquiesce to promise of free health care, and military members had no contract with the government. Therefore

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March
17th

MILITARY: Retiree health care isn’t the Pentagon’s Achilles’ heel

Lawrence Korb’s article (TNT, 3-16) suggesting that military retirees’ health care cost are the Pentagon’s Achilles’ heel is out of touch with reality.

The majority of military retirees are not geographically located close enough to Department of Defense medical facilities to avail themselves or their families of their hard- earned medical benefits, and if they do they often stand quietly in line and wait their turn.

The figures Korb casually references have little basis in fact. If he is truly interested in the Pentagon’s Achilles’s heel, he need look no further than the no-bid contracts, cost overruns, congressional pork and

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Sep.
17th

MILITARY: Broken health care promises to retirees

”Listen up! Attention! Stay in for 20 or more years and you will earn free medical and dental care for the rest of your lives – delayed compensation for your substandard pay!”

From the 1940s to the mid-1990s, thousands of career military heard those words from those they took an oath to obey. A court case determined that Congress never authorized the promise, a dubious technicality given that Congress knew the promise was being made and did nothing to stop it. In the real world, this is commonly called fraud.

The government saved untold billions in recruiting, training costs and

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