Downsizing the Military A Disgrace

Yesterday two very lovely women came by my both here on Radio Row, where I am broadcasting the show live from Tampa for the RNC.  I was told they were military wives and something terrible was happening to them. When I heard their story, I initially did not believe it. When you hear it, you won’t believe it either. And I fervently hope that you will contact your elected representatives immediately to do something about it. Because it is a disgrace.
What is happening is that close to 3,000 enlisted men and women are being downsized from the navy. That’s right- downsized.  Not fired due to performance, or transferred to another station.  They have been given their walking papers in the middle of their stints and told to find something else to do. Go find another house, another job, another health plan.  That’s the thanks they get for signing on the dotted line, volunteering to sacrifice their lives for our country. That’s the thanks they get for loaning their spouses out for months at a time, on duty that takes them away from the first day of kindergarten, birthdays, holidays and the day the dog died.
Listen to this kicker our wonderful military offered these patriots. We’ll give you severance, they said, but only on the condition that you serve in active reserve for three years.  Moreover, if you have to file for disability, which many may need to do, then you have to give the severance BACK.  You read that correctly.  After years of service and sacrifice, after becoming disabled in the line of duty, the military wants money back from our vets.
Beth Armstrong’s husband Paul has been in the service for 15 years. He is an aviation structural mechanic, with an E 6 rank.  Beth and he have six children, aged 4 months to 11 years old, with a pair of twins in there for good measure. The military contracted for their housing, and now their landlord has given them a notice to evict.  Beth came on my show yesterday and told me that she literally does not know where they will end up.  Paul found a job, but it pays $30,000 less than his old one. Health insurance for her and the kids is iffy- and if the government withdraws their benefits, they will be sunk. But the worst part is that Paul is emotionally devastated. Serving in the military is all he ever wanted to do. He has done nothing wrong, everything right.  He feels so used, so confused, and so bitterly disappointed in our system.
When you sign up with the military, you don’t get the choice to leave because you want to. You have to stay.  Period. If you do leave, the consequences to your life are significant.  THe government wants to make sure you adhere to your contract, that you keep  your bargain. Now our government is breaking that bargain. They think it’s OK to break a contract with our enlisted servicemen and women and they think they can get away with it.
They can’t get away with it. They shouldn’t get away with it. These people need your help to reverse this outrageous decision, this disgraceful  injustice that is being perpetrated on our bravest citizens.
If you want to know how you can help, contact Jennifer Beasley at sailorsagainsterb@yahoo.com or join the facebook page sailorsagainsterb.
Listen in today live on the Lisa Wexler Show for an interview with Jennifer Beasley, whose family faces this fate. Today  4PM EST. Lisawexler.com, or wfasam.com.
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Downsizing the Military A Disgrace

  1. You need a dose of Paul Harvey…and as he said “and now the rest of the story”. I come from a military family, father served 3 wars in the Army, my sister started in the Marines and later joined the Navy. As a Navy Officer, taugth Leadership at the US Navel Academy, my brother served Navy on the Eisenhower, my former husband a Marine in VietNam and finished in the Army after Dessert Storm. I served 10 years in the Marines, left to have babies. There is so much more that you either don’t know or understand about military service. But then again it would not serve your purpose to enlighten yourself, less you blow the woo is me story you have going. They have choices, just not telling you the whole story. The military builds up in conflict and downsizes when the job is done. What do you expect the military to do, just keep paying someone to stand around with nothing to do? (That surely make the taxpayers happy!) If he likes the miliary so much then use his GI bill to go back to school. I used mine to get a BA and MA. Transfer to another branch of service that can use him now, stay in the reserves to keep his rank. My husband left the Marines when they downsized after the Vietnam war, went from aviation to military police. Joined the California National Gruard ( Commanding Officer of a Tank Company) to keep his rank and later transferred to an Army Reserve Dive Unit on the coast so he he could get paid to go Scuba diving on the weekends. Get off the ass and get creative, look at it as a chance to spend time with together as a family. Sorry Lisa, but your story is full of it! And another thing….You take a severance pay lump sum from the Military to get settled. If you have a disability that application goes to the Veterans administration. If it is approved ( which can take years as they are so back logged ) they go back and pay you the disability from the beginning. That is why the Military is repaid, the periods and agencies will overlap. When you apply for disability they go over that with you, it’s very clear. If he is not determined disabled, then the severance is all he gets for now. I know first hand, I took severance years ago, a good chunk of money, if used wisely.

    1. Kathy you clearly have not read this carefully enough. Never in the history of the US armed forces has a service broken an enlisted man’s contract during the term. This is unprecedented . It is not only immoral, and an obvious breach of contract, it is also likely illegal because the Navy does not authority to do it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s