Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Pentagon


MILITARY: Special benefits for same-sex couples?

Re: “Pentagon weighs benefits for same-sex spouses” (TNT, 8-9).

The article states that the Department of Defense is attempting to quickly implement an additional 10 days of leave to any same-sex couple in the military that wants to travel to a state allowing same-sex marriage.

I hope this is a mistake by the reporter. I can’t believe that DOD would discriminate against traditional marriage in this manner.

While in the service, I had to use part of my annual leave to facilitate my marriage. Why can’t homosexuals in the military use part of their 30 days annual leave to facilitate

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FURLOUGHS: Disrespect isn’t limited to DOD employees

Re: “Defense personnel stripped of trust, faith and confidence” (TNT, 7-18).

The article by Mike Penland, a civilian employee at the Pentagon, illustrates the best and worst of the Defense Department in just a few paragraphs.

He cites some of the military’s core values and how most people work overtime to carry out the mission. Then he bemoans the discovery that those who work for the DOD are “nothing more than employees” because they face furloughs along with other federal workers.

In his mind, apparently, the people who collect the taxes to fund the military, the diplomats who save

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MILITARY: Nation needs to put its veterans first

Re: “VA asked to keep eye on vets’ credit” (TNT, 6-15).

Your article about a new monitoring program to guard veterans credit neglected to situate this small step in the long journey to actually keep our promises to take care of veterans.

The truth is, we’re far behind. The Veterans Affairs Department backlog stretches to more than 800,000 claims. And although the VA itself is exempt from sequestration, these sweeping budget cuts have cut homeless shelters for veterans, furloughed medical staff at military health clinics and cut job training.

We know the reasons for these cuts: to reduce the

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MILITARY: PC run amok on ‘sexual assault’

With all the brouhaha about sexual assaults in the military, and the ugly irony of a couple of anti-assault program managers being charged with sexual assault, it might be profitable to actually look at what this arose from.

The number of 26,000 assaults is being touted from the Senate on down. What too many people seem to have missed is that the Pentagon itself says that this is an estimate and is primarily based on an anonymous survey.

The Pentagon also estimates that only 10 percent of all sexual assaults get reported. One wonders at how they arrived at this

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SEQUESTER: Media fall for Pentagon scare tactics

Re: “15,000 teachers at military schools will get furloughs” (TNT, 3-5).

The Associated Press is once again playing into the hands of political forces that would manipulate it. The sequester spending cuts are less than 3 percent. In the business world, a 3 percent midyear spending adjustment is not uncommon and not particularly difficult to accomplish by trimming nonessential items and/or deferring routine costs like furniture and equipment replacement.

The Pentagon makes headlines claiming it must furlough teachers and cut back commissary hours as the result of a minor spending reduction. Delaying the delivery of a few aircraft would

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MILITARY: Put veterans ahead of unneeded weapons systems

Re: “Younger veterans struggle to find jobs” (TNT, 2-24).

As they face challenges finding a job, many young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with disabilities; nearly half have filed some kind of claim. Yet the budget cuts now being proposed in Congress could actually make it harder for veterans to get the care they need.

The federal government has threatened to triple veterans’ health care premiums to help pay down the deficit while discharging more than 100,000 troops, effectively sending them straight to the unemployment line.

Veterans understand just as well as anyone that the government needs to

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ECONOMY: Up side to going over the fiscal cliff

Let’s face it, those who have earned income in 2013 will pay more taxes one way or another. But, when you look at the consequences of the fiscal cliff cuts, it’s really not that bad. In fact, many are welcome.

Half the spending cuts will come from the Department of Defense. It’s time for the Pentagon to reprioritize. The Cold War is over. We lost. The Russians and Chinese duped us into perennial debt. I am not aware of North Korea, Iran or al-Qaida patrolling our coastline in submarines, so why do we need a P8 sub-hunter, for a start?

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RAMPAGE: ‘Isolated incident’ becoming too common

The Pentagon insists the tragic killings in Afghanistan were an “isolated incident” (TNT, 3-13). This was the fourth deployment for the suspect. On top of that, he had experienced a brain injury on his last tour of duty. With this background he was still assessed to be ready and able to serve a fourth deployment in a war zone.

Yes, he apparently pulled the trigger, but clearly he snapped under the increased pressure of war.

This is tragic on so many levels. Tragic for the Afghan people, especially those who lost family; tragic for the soldier who snapped under

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