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Dear Service Member: A Letter From Congress

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Dear Service Member: A Letter From Congress

Dear Service Member,

Your voice doesn’t matter to me. Your service doesn’t matter to me. The promise made with your oath doesn’t matter to me. You don’t matter.

You are expendable.

Your physical and mental wounds of war do not matter. Your marriages lost, do not matter. Your childhoods missed, do not matter.

You cannot organize and protest so your voices will remain small. You cannot lobby and pull favors so there is nothing you can give to make me see your way.

This nation is tired of you. Tired of the decade of war that they don’t understand and that we decided for you.

You are subpar. You are below. You are the easiest cut.

To take away twenty percent of a retirement that you have worked and bled for and entered into your service (and retired from) being promised, is easier than giving up my own full pension that I receive after serving just a day in my seat. My work matters more than yours. It is my job to demand where you go, when you leave, if your life will be put on the line each day. That is such difficult work. To decide to send fathers and sons, mothers and daughters to a war zone is far more trying than to actually live through war.

To have to decide to reduce the Cost-of-Living-Allowance of a Soldier who has lost his limbs because I am too scared and too selfish to rethink the corruption and abuse existing in every single entitlement program in this nation, well … surely that must be as difficult as having a propelled grenade blow off my lower extremities, if not more. I’ve earned my full pension. I’ve earned my full pension by deciding what we take from you. I’ve earned my full pension by sending you into two wars, by sending you on that mission, by putting you in the place of that explosion. Voting for that was worthy of my benefits, following that order was not worthy of yours.

I’ve earned my money.

It’s hard work. Hard choices. I’ve earned my four-week paid vacation while you prepare for your fourth twelve-month tour. Legislating is tiring work.

Your one percent vote won’t pull me from this seat. Your one percent vote won’t change my mind. Because you are expendable and the easiest section to take from. It’s simple politics.

You have chosen to take an oath and to follow a code that restricts you from speaking against me. Even with that, you are the quality of people that it is easy to take advantage of. You give beyond self. You serve in a way that most people cannot fathom. It’s easiest to take from that selflessness. Your voice does not matter. The promise I made to you – any promise I make to you – is nothing more than words that sound good, that will rally anyone belonging to the ninety-nine percent that does matter. My promises hold as much value as I hold for you.

None.

You cannot refuse to show up for work tomorrow while you picket outside the building, the FOB, the secret location in the mountains of Afghanistan. You cannot negotiate and demand and hold up this nation’s current war while we try to see eye to eye.

You don’t matter. We don’t care. “Embrace the suck” and get back to work.

Sincerely,

The United States Congress

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123 thoughts on “Dear Service Member: A Letter From Congress”

  1. Hey Congress, what the hell is up with this! Gave this country the best years of my life for below the cost of living for twenty years. You promised a retirement check and healthcare for that dedication I gave and now you want TO REVOKE IT!

  2. Congress you are a bunch of cowards. You don’t know what dedication to duty, God and country stands for or means. You re elected to take care of the citizens of this country NOT take care of yourself. You promised me a life of ease if I took care of the country. I did my part. OWN UP TO YOURS!!!

  3. Our current Congress is the worst bunch of sorry leaders this country has ever put forth. They have never put themselves in harms way to defend the Constitution and are a bunch of lousy lawyers. God help us!

  4. This is horrible what congress is doing to our vets! As this will effect my husband's retirement as well as his healthcare! America wake up after serving more than 30 years of service to protect your country your benefits and retirement are cut! Shame on you congress and Mr. President!!!!

  5. You're mistaken, Robert. They did not exempt medically retired veterans, they did nothing but pat themselves on the back for finally passing a budget. Look it up, Murphy even said that was a mistake.

  6. Michael Soucie my apologies, I didn't realize the story had changed! I guess should've expected that they wouldn't do the decent thing and at least protect the medically retired vets.

  7. They should be voted out or protest till they resign.its time american people stand up and protest and let our voices be heard.enough is enough!they set up in Washington with fat checks,a good medical insurance, and meals on their tables.while our military go pay check to pay check,sacrifice their lives and marriages, so idiots like them are safe.Jerks!

  8. It is easier said than done. We represent less than 1% of the nation. It is the rest of the nation that needs to see what is happening but, if they can't see the effects immediately then they do not care. Sad but true.

  9. I agree with the retirees but not the rest. We already have enough of the others up there already and they're not worth 2 cents.

    1. What? This was Paul Ryan’s agenda, he has stated this and that he got 70% of what he wanted in the budget agreement. This is a TeaParty idea through and through.

  10. Our vote probably doesn't matter anymore. Especially against the ever growing tide of illegal immigrants who will vote for those who granted them amnesty. But when the bulk of the military says "screw this" and realizes their skills and experience translate to a solid job on the outside, they might get sick of the endless time away from family and choose to be around with their family. There's nothing like deployment away from family during the holidays to make you question things.

  11. Cathy Adlerz you supported him, too. You dealt with time away, mostly the time that mattered, and stuck with it. Thank you for that. I think a lot of people forget our families serve along with us. I count the family members who stuck by us as those suffering from this bad decision. It's very much a wrong way to deal with endless handouts to those who refuse to work.

  12. Look, Congress and Senate no longer represent the people. Ask yourself, or your community, when the last town hall meeting was between you and your representatives was. Probably not in a long time, if ever. The purpose of a “representative” is to represent those that elected him. It seems as though this has been washed away from our Constitution. Representatives now represent themselves, rather than the people that elected them. You see, if a congressman was against abortion, but the people he represents was for it, the congressman should vote for what THE PEOPLE want. This no longer happens and is a part of the deterioration of our democracy. One day, lady’s and gentlemen, I will run for office. My track record is full of flaws, but my goal is to run and vote FOR THE PEOPLE. Perfection in a person means one never made a mistake to learn from. I made many, but above all else, I u del stand democracy, and the need to protect those who serve us, our United States Armed Forces. Happy Holidays.

  13. Only 30 states require ID. Don't be so short-sighted. If they enter our country illegally, despite amnesty, they are still illegal imigrants. Citizenship does not change that fact. BTW, name-calling does not lend you respect. Acting like an adult might

  14. Goodness me, the classic retort…and I don't even watch Fox News. I actually research multiple sources. You know what? Good point. I'll just give that to you as a Christmas present. Way to be an unnecessary and assuming jerk on Christmas. And totally taking this article on a tangent that it wasn't intended for. Don't you have an American flag burning you're late for?

  15. This nation really needs a good protest. It should be career-ending for them to take money from service members' pensions without first taking from entitlement programs and the pensions that politicians receive. Makes me REALLY enjoy the idea of going back into the military.

  16. The DOD and Sec of Def are behind this also, you don't hear them complaining. They want to take our earned entitlements and spend it on other programs & projects. I feel burned by both the DOD and my elected reps, I no longer trust either to deliver after giving 24years of my life in the service of my country. I ashamed of them all, traitors!

  17. I live in a state that even though our state that is purple. Most of our elected leaders are republican, and those of us who are democrat are currently fighting against the GOP every step of the way. Our State secretary has proposed a voters right bill that will take away early voting and absentee voting for members of our armed forces. While our current state legislature has tried to cut programs for vets, we have me ourselves hoarse going out and talking to people to urge them to call their elected officials and ask them to not vote for cutting funding to programs that help the vets. If you want a better picture of what the blues are doing to try to help the vets, then please look at what Massachusetts is doing to help homeless vets.

  18. This is a bi-partisan issue. My US Senator who is Republican voted against cutting the COLA, the one who is a Dem voted to cut. Stop inflaming the situation by thinking all of one party or another are good or bad. Vote issues, not parties. That's why I wound up voting for D governor and an R US Senator.

  19. All veterans, no matter how long you served, remember how your Rep and Senators voted and what they do to correct this so called mistake after the new year. If they can get away with this look out Social Security, MEDICARE, etc.

  20. Chris McGhee: Illegal immigarnts vote. They perjure themselves to register, and no one checks and no one stops them. And then they vote. Multiple times. Multiple jurisdictions. To not know this is to be willfully blind and . . stupid.

  21. Paul Ryan bragged that he got what he wanted in the deal "Ryan described it as "a budget agreement that reduces spending without raising taxes" while easing the pain of the "arbitrary" spending cuts of the sequester. "This agreement makes sure we don't have a shutdown scenario in January and that we don't have a shutdown scenario in October," Ryan said. "This also shows that we can work together to get our government functioning at its very basic levels."

  22. Paul Ryan brged that he did not raisany txes while Murray, the dem was ""I was disappointed that we were unable to close even a single corporate loophole," Murray added. " People need to KNOW who is on their side and who is not.

  23. David Koch
    yes less that 1percent, but we have mothers, fathers, relatives, friends, this alone is a bigger percent.

  24. i know of men that were about to retire but had their lives ruined because of corrupt government in the worst way. I know of retired military who have had their lives destroyed for the same reason. I know of other veterans who have committed suicide for no other reason than to become an arrest statistic. I feel for any veteran who has to suffer at the hands of a nation that seems to agree with disagreeing. Laws need changing and the country needs reform.If not, we will be a nation in peril. Here is a story that is never told about a serious injustice in this country that is affecting numerous veterans, retirees, active duty, reservists, etc. https://www.academia.edu/5496464/Florida_Sting_Operations

  25. Cathy Adlerz .. Have to make a distinction, it was the Senate that passed it….majority democrats. Oh, ya..and rino Republicans who need to lose their jobs in '14

  26. Bob Higginbotham What we need is for Vets to launch a class action lawsuit against congress for Breach of Contract. 🙂

  27. OUR MILITARY has a right to arrest him for impeachment. charges…he's lost his m.arbles, he's certifiable. Wouldn't THAT be a helluva "TOUCHE", Troops!!???

  28. Heidi Hanson I have lost TOTAL respect for Paul RYAN because of this slap in the faces of our vets. He's wrong to do this. Traitor …

  29. Chris McGhee And just who the hell do you think you are…THEY illegally vote, many times, last election…..they are still finding people who voted several times…b.o. ad them 'bussed' in to several precincts to vote. THAT was a rude and crude comment to make., when it's YOU who are wrong!

  30. Learn the history, starting with the Powell Memorandum, then the Starve the Beast initiative. What they were and what was the result of their success. Service members are not alone. Every American was targeted, service member or not.

  31. The goal of the Starve the Beast initiative, started 30+ years ago was to run the debt up so high, we would be forced to cut social programs (which includes military retirement). I suggest you look closely at who supported Starve the Beast, who starved the beast, and you might learn who your friends aren't.

  32. Paraphrased from Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

    First they demonized the poor, and I did not speak out because I was not poor.

    Then they demonized the unemployed, and I did not speak out because I was not unemployed.

    Then they demonized the teachers, and I did not speak out because I was not a teacher.

    Then they demonized the firefighters and police, but I did not speak out because I was neither a firefighter nor a policeman.

    Then they demonized the liberals, but I did not speak out because I was not a liberal.

    Then they demonized the veterans – and it WAS me.

  33. Jaye-Anne Seigo-Greene in our contract w are not allow to sue the goverment i found this out when my unit was filled with asbestos i asked if i got cancer could i sue and was told that i signed away that right

  34. Let's remember this at election time. Congress should do their part too. Aside from Congress being unwilling, unable, or just plain TOO LAZY and complacent to look into waste and fraud in existing U.S Entitlement programs, Congress should do their part and take a 1% cut too.

  35. MIchael, Kevin…These representatives are only doing what YOU military and DOD people will let them do. How many of you voted Republican? The writing has been on the wall for several years, YES even before Obama came into office. George Bush and Co. have been talking about this very thing for years and with the CONGRESS your Republican vote gave the country this last election, the Republicans have finally cut and chopped the military budget to pieces.. And now you are unhappy????

  36. Congress should be held to the same set of laws as the rest of the government and federal employees, if they did most of the crap they pass wouldn't make it to the floor to be considered. Lobbyist (bribing) should be outlawed !!!

  37. Carol Chadbourne ….. But Carol, you be sure to run right out and vote for YOUR favorite Republican next election so they can keep on cutting down our country… I will tell you that Paul Ryan by him self didn't do this. It took the Republican congress, standing arm in arm to kick down these military people with out so much as a whimper from any of them.. As long as Washington raises a monument up in praise of our military and the soldier can stand in front of it and gloat this countries politicians will do just as they please to our boys and girls who serve.

  38. Gerry Evans You keep spouting off your liberal bias over and over again. You keep saying Republicans this Republicans that but the sad thing is they are all the same, Democrats and Republicans. All the ones in office are corrupt, agenda pushing, Totalitarians fighting for power. If you want to really do something you all need to stop looking at Red and Blue. Look out side the box and you will find better people.

  39. Everything in this “letter” is 100% correct. Because you won’t do anything about it. All these pissed off comments on the internets, that’s as far as it’s going to go.

    Every. Last. One. Of you will vote either republican or democrat in the next election, and nothing will change. Those two parties have passed control of the government back and forth for more than a hundred and fifty years. They are the new political ruling class. The new royalty. Because you refuse to even consider a third option.

    You – yes, you – will do nothing. Embrace the suck and get back to work.

  40. Gerry, out of the 67 yea votes in the senate, there were 12 Republicans and 1 Independent. That makes 54 Democrats against 13. Tell me again how the Republicans were the problem…

  41. I think congress and senate should all be fired and lose all benefits. They have not earned one single penny they get….

  42. Even though the cuts are a done deal, please sign and SHARE the petition to Veto the Ryan/Murray budget deal that cuts retired military pension COLA to 1% below the inflation rate. Some members of Congress have pledged to enact legislation to repeal this cut after the Christmas recess. The signatures on this petition will help us remind them of their promise. The Ryan/Murray budget deal cuts the military retirement pension COLA to 1% below the inflation rate. This is an inexcusable breach of contract with the military men and women who have served this country valiantly in two wars. The very idea that Congress seeks to cut military retirement pay by up to 24% while our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan is beyond contemptible. Military retirees have risked their lives, sacrificed normal family life, and given their prime earning years to defend this nation. One of the primary motivators for military members to spend an entire career in the military is the promise of a retirement benefit that cannot be made worthless by inflation. The Ryan/Murray proposal breaks that promise. Please sign the petition located on

    http://wh.gov/l8iNr

  43. Sign the petition and share it. Make sure to remind everyone you know who chose illegal aliens over the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who defended this nation when elections come up. Please USE YOUR POWER AND YOUR RIGHT to vote out every incumbent who cowardly stabbed in the back the very people who made their vote possible.

  44. Gerry Evans The first time I ever voted, I voted for Ronald Reagan and I have continued to vote almost always for Republicans (OK, that one time I voted for H. Ross Perot, well…. ummmm)..I retired after 20 years in the Air Force and almost all the military people I spoke with were VERY conservative.
    But, every once in a while I ran into a liberal. I never could understand them, though.

  45. The CSRS retirement system, which was the former Federal Retirement system that Federal employees paid into in lieu of social security stopped being a retirement option in 1984. Any new employee of the Federal Government to include elected officials has paid into social security if he or she came on board since then. Spreading untruths and misunderstandings about what Congress does or doesn’t get for benefits does not help the military retirees. I’m a angry as anyone about the COLA cuts since both my husband and me served over 20 years but facts are facts.

  46. If you are the type to sign on for wars that do not end I do not feel sorry for you. Suck it up, man! No one drafted you.

  47. As for roll calls here's some help. First off, the majority of House Republicans sold out the veterans. Go down left column look for HJ Res 59, when you find that look and click on roll no. 640 http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx?sortOrder=descending&day=20131212

    Then the majority of Democrats in the Senate sold out career veterans you'll see Senate roll call here
    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2013/s281

    Hope this helps.

  48. Everyone needs to send this to at least 2 other people and ask everyone they know to post it to their congressmen's facebook page.

  49. Victoria Wingate Well Victoria, voting for RR was your first mistake.. He was the worst gov. Calif. Ever had.. Having lived through what he did to Calif left that state in financial straights and it is now taking Jerry Brown to get it together again. I congratulate you on your time in service. It's too bad now that the congress is taking your retirement away, even if it is little by little…

  50. The way I see it , Congress has become just an upscale version of welfare. Once elected all they need do is set in there seat one time and they are set for life. If this doesn't change NOTHING will change. I believe they should get something for doing there job but NOT for the rest of there life. I would give them one year payed after leaving congress. At the end of that year if able go and find a damn job ! If at retirement age let them file for social security like every other American. They also take the very same oath as service men and women , The BIG difference is to them it IS just words. Unless things change in the way Congress receives benefits it doesn't matter if you vote them out or who you vote in greed will consume them and it will be same old same old . Just my view I could be wrong.

  51. This letter also doesn't reflect the tirelessly act of 12 to 18 hours a day that a solder/army forces/sailor puts in a day for readiness on ship or out in the other fields to keep this Country safe from harm as well as protect the Constitution of the United States

  52. We all took the same oath. And if I was wounded,or retired from active service. That the United States would have my back. Sadly I see The US is reneging on its promise to the service Pearson. And that I find reprehensible. The fat cats sitting in congress need to be removed. And we need to go back to a Congress as our founding father envisioned. Each of us taking turns. No making a career of congress.

  53. David Koch, Add in family members and friends…and family of friends…it adds up, but it has to start somewhere…

  54. You are allowed to vote in the military. You are not allowed to petition. To do so is considered treason. You are not allowed to pickett or to stand in any political rally or demonstrations While IN uniform.

  55. absolutely disgusting…….send congress to the front lines……let's see if they make it back….oh but that's what your betting on Mr. President isn't it then there's more money for your OBAMA care………..shame on you……..

  56. Dear Congress, While I honorably served this country for twenty years, I never once turned my back on it. It cost me two failed marriages, four kids I barely saw or see now, three concussions, 17 broken bones, 19 surgeries, had two organs removed, and now I am 80% disabled. It makes me sick to my stomach what you are doing. I can promise you this, I will not vote for anyone of you that's there now ever again! I have made a roster of all who is there now and that's my "who not to vote for, or support list" for all future elections. Oh yeah, don't count on me to do anything for you ever again. Sincerely, up yours! Stephen Gant Jr, USN MA1(retired)

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