BALITANG BETERANO: WAR VETS IRKED AT PRESIDENT BUSH

NEVADA, USA, OCTOBER 20, 2003  By Col. (Ret.) Frank B. Quesada USA  - Reports from Washington D.C. have it that war veterans of World War II and Korean veterans are very angry at President G.W. Bush for supporting a past (1955) government policy and decision to rescind an old promise of free and life-time benefits of military retirees who are in their twilight years.

It can be recalled that it was Pres. Bus who told the veterans as well those in active duty military personnel after the year 2000 campaign that, to wit: “I promise made to the veterans will be kept.”

It can also be recalled that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) have recently renewed his support for a bill reinstating the retirement benefits to veterans, which was earned by them while they served the armed forces. Reid said that it is unfair for the government to deny retirement benefits, which veteran richly deserved, and which can not just be swept under the rug . This is a running debate and issue today under the war fever against terrorism.

Veterans are angry because hey feel that they had been short-changed, and especially in the current government’s preparation for another war, hoping for more volunteers to serve. And who may also be betrayed.

In the past administration, these veterans had to pay for benefits through Medicare that cost them $60 or more, and for approx. 80 percent of the expenses. Veterans is also mad against Pentagon that welshed on the deal which their recruiters promised them upon signing up for active duty, stating that – “if they served for 20 years or more, they and their dependents would get health benefits for life.”

These retirees have appealed to the government for justice to discuss the situation, however, they said Pentagon, the Justice Department and the White House – have ignored their appeal to overturn the 1995 decision – lodged by them for and in behalf of the 1.7 million military retirees.

It could be gleaned that the government have eluded to correct such travesty of justice. These retirees have property rights taken away from them under smacks of evasion of payment.

I can recall the same injustice and cruel hoax heaped by government against the Fil-Am, World War II ex-servicemen who, after rendering active an honorable military service – were left to fend foe themselves for the past 60 years. Up until now, only a minute part of the $3.2 billion unpaid veterans benefits – had been retarded what these veterans view as racial and economic discrimination, and “involuntary servitude” (slavery) forbidden under amendments to the US. Constitution. These set of veterans are dying of old age and disease without full benefits.

On the part of the retirees, represented by Col. Col .(Ret.) George Day (USAF) and a former POW, Medal of Honor recipient – have lost their case in the U.S Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. he vowed to take the issue t the Supreme Court whatever it takes. On the other-hand, Sen Reid also vowed to push the issue in Congress to secure justice for these heroes who she blood for Uncle Sam – but who have turned Uncle Scrooge.

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frankquesada_1@juno.com


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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