Although my husband is not a federal worker in the sense we all think about, he does work for the federal goverment. He is a military officer and he is due to retire in the next few years. We're part of the community being asked to embrace the suck. This budget deal will take an estimated $124,000 from our pockets. It will take that much from every officer who has recently retired and who will retire in the near future. The budget deal would take an estimated $80,000 from the pockets of an Army Sergeant 1st Class. All combined, the deal will save the military a grand $6 Billion in 10 years, a pittance to the military budget but a devastating loss of money to each family.
The military community is in an uproar. But the civilian community, not so much. I would imagine that's why the diaries earlier this week received so little attention. Did you miss those? In my opinion, first time diarist, aznavy deserved to at least make the Community Spotlight for his piece, Military Retirees Thrown Under the Bus For Defense Contractors:
"Spread the pain to the youngest military retirees" - the most likely to have spent multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you for your service. It just cost you $83K or $123K. Our military industrial complex thanks you. On behalf of Congress, they also thank you for your service.
Future thank you's could include Tricare benefit cuts, pay raise caps, narrower VA eligibility criteria...the list seems endless. http://www.nj.com/....
Why go on, it is only depressing. Please, don't thank me for my service anymore...it only costs me and my comrades in arms money.
Shared sacrifice - my ass.
I also wrote a diary, "Working Age" Military Retirees Screwed Over in the Ryan/Murray Deal. In it, I highlight all those places that Congress could have cut the military budget, items that the Pentagon itself wanted to cut, and Congress chose not to. Why? Because those cuts would mean ending contracts with companies in their districts. Just.to.hard.to.do.
So instead, Congress is going to repeat it's 1990-style military retiree screw you over deal. Back then, it was health care. Military retirees had been promised a lifetime of free healthcare. They lost it when Congress and President Clinton signed a budget agreement that started to charge retirees for seeing the doctor. They fought back but they fought alone because the civilian community didn't see such a big deal at the time. For 20 years, many a military member has cussed out Clinton for his part in all of this. In fact, I would say it was one of the major reasons why vocal military opinion swayed against Democrats for so long.
Now we're going to see President Obama sign similar legislation. Different retiree benefit but just another generation of military retirees to screw over. Don't think we're getting screwed? Military families certainly do:
From a military spouse at MilitarySpouse.com:
We’ve embraced many hardships. I’ve sacrificed plenty over the years. I know I personally gave up my career to support my husbands – without regret. My occupation is not portable, so I’ll have to start over – someday, when I stop moving every two years.So how about it? Are you with us or against us?
My youngest is five years old and she’s already lived in four states. I’ve said goodbye to family, knowing we’ll never live in the same state again. Because aren’t all grandparents meant for Skyping and not sleepovers? My children are forced to change schools every two years, expected to make new friends and adapt to imbalances in education from state to state.
My husband’s office is an intricate part of the national defense of our country. So, that means T-ball games are missed, so are school plays, recitals, activities, help with home work, bed time routines and of course, family vacations. Not to mention, let’s send you off to a war zone for an unknown amount of time, too. My husband has spent 20 years in the United States military. It’s not your typical day job.
And, quite frankly, I think I have it pretty good. I know other military families out there have it a lot worse. I’ve embraced my suck, we all do.
So, when I hear the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D), spout out in a news conference, we have to “embrace the suck”, I want to scream!
How about trying out a new slogan “Embrace Your Promise.”
You can send a letter to your Representative, your Senators, and President Obama in one single go by visiting the Military Officers Association of America. You don't have to be military, just mark that you're an MOAA Family/Friend.
And please, show the front pagers that this issue is important. Rec the diary and get this issue some attention. Please.