Posted on Aug 28, 2016
Sgt Seth Welch
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More specifically what I am looking for is a few ways to say thanks to those who made this country what it is today.
Such as zero interest VA home loans
GI bill allowance towards graduate degrees
And
Tax free retirement and active duty pay

What are your thoughts and what benefits would you consider appropriate?
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Responses: 31
SGM Erik Marquez
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Edited >1 y ago
Ok so here it goes....... flame suit on, Down vote ready.
NO we do not "deserve more"

We deserve what was promised to us, what we were told would be allowed, available and provided in exchange for doing the job we were hired to do.

And that IS IT. We deserve nothing but that we have earned.
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
>1 y
Sgt Seth Welch - The reasoning is self evident, We "deserve" what we earned, we earned what we were told would be provided in exchange for our service and low hard cash wages.

I earned respect.
I earned a monthly retirement payment based on a plan that was in place the day i came into service.
I earned the medical plan at the price point, design and availability of service I was promised when I entered.
I earned the training I received
I earned the education benefits promised.
I earned the other tangible, and intangible things I was told were provided in compensation for 28 years, 9 month of service.

I am OWED nothing other than that, I "deserve" nothing other than that.

I do not deserve a new taxpayer funded perk that was not part of the agreed upon compensation packages I was promised at the time I entered service and or became available while in. I am not owed or do i deserve to be treated special JUST BECAUSE I served. If that service caused or brought with it a condition that needs to be serviced, treated, adapted to, well then yes that too was earned of course.
But no, we do not "deserve" some new, additional program at taxpayer cost.
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Maj Marty Hogan
Maj Marty Hogan
>1 y
I agree- deserve what we earn.
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CSM Thomas McGarry
CSM Thomas McGarry
>1 y
I also think that we deserve what we have earned but it also seem to me that vets are starting to perceive themselves as an entitled class, entitled to discounts and other benefits. Don't get me there is nothing wrong with asking a business if they offer discounts to vets and many do but we should not be put off if they don't!!
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SSG Special Forces Engineer Sergeant
SSG (Join to see)
>1 y
My feelings exactly! I want only what was promised to me when I enlisted. My Dad was a Korean War Era Vet and he got way more than I'll ever see. He didn't have to fight tooth and nail for it either. Our current administration, at least, thinks that because we now have an all volunteer military the enticements can be cut back because we volunteered to serve. I think it says a lot about a government that changes the agreement in mid-game.
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CPT Jack Durish
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Let's begin by giving them all that they were promised before making more promises to be broken
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CPT Jack Durish
CPT Jack Durish
>1 y
Sgt Gus Laskaris - The VA has been around a long time. It administers many programs that were in place before most of us enlisted and were expected when we became veterans. Most basic was the promise that if wounded, we would be cared for. Indeed, most will agree (though you may not) that those who serve would be loathe to go in harm's way if they believed that they would be left bleeding and uncared for on the battlefield. Soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen have every right to expect that they will be made whole again (or as much so as possible) and cared for if their disabilities preclude them from caring for themselves. That promise has been broken. The promise to fix the broken system in the past two years has likewise been broken. Indeed, it has become worse.
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CPT Jack Durish
CPT Jack Durish
>1 y
Sgt Gus Laskaris - Every veteran I know who is struggling to get appointments with the VA is suffering service connected disabilities and injuries. The ones I visit in VA hospitals who were lucky enough to get through the door are receiving mixed care, some good, some bad, and some okay. The food at the VA hospital in Long Beach, CA, isn't fit for healthy people. I've heard tales that it's just as bad elsewhere. I don't know where you're getting your information, but it is way off the mark. And no, we are not talking about someone who lost a leg and engaging in lucrative professions.
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PO2 Brian Harringgton
PO2 Brian Harringgton
>1 y
nothing or no one made a promise to me hell no one even told me what kind of benifits I would get
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
>1 y
Sgt Gus Laskaris - You Are of course correct on your point...Even if you stated it with an intelligent ugly stick....lol
Your on point, technically, all that was "promised" outside our enlistment contract was in the annual appropriations bill, a bill that can and has been changed, shrunk, expanded year after year.

So I agree, were were not contractually, legally promised anything other than what is on the contract...
Congress could, if they so desired stop ALL retirement pay and allowances, all shared medical coverage.. they could with the stroke of a pen and a vote end all budget expenditures on vets and retired vets instantly and without legal recourse.

Likely there is no political upside to doing that so they won't, but they could.

All that said, yes were "promised" many things when I came in...perhaps not legally binding. but still it was stated and agreed upon service for xx years would equal Y retirement pay.
It was stated and agreed upon service for xx years would equal Y medical coverage for myself and family members.
It was stated and agreed upon service for xx years would equal Y coverage for service related medical issues....Not just "battle war wounds", but service related. I did not fracture my left patella into 3 pieces in battle, but it is still service related as it was done during unit PT.
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Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen
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Kind of agree with SGM Eric Marquez, we don't deserve "more" until the government is capable of keeping the promises it has already made to us. So far this seems to have been an unobtainable goal. Haven't kept track of GI Bill for a long time, but I used it to obtain a graduate degree; guess that capability has gone away in the current GI Bill?
A zero interest home loan probably isn't realistic. Lenders must be able to make some profit from a VA Home Loan or they simply will stop offering them. The current zero down payment home loan benefit seems to be a pretty good deal but the bureaucracy involved with getting one could certainly be streamlined.
Like the concept of tax free retirement pay. If you believe the statistics on the percentage of veterans vs the total population this could be a benefit that would be easy to implement without bankrupting the government. On the flip side, I don't agree with tax free active duty pay. Remember, the taxes you pay into Social Security and Medicare all factor into the formula that determines what your benefits will be when you retire. You want to be paying into that fund while on active duty to assure getting payments you can live on in retirement, whether or not you also have military retirement, and especially if you don't. If you pay in and then have a non-taxable retirement income you would have a pretty significant benefit from being a veteran.
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PO1 Jack Howell
PO1 Jack Howell
>1 y
Lt Col., active duty pay is only tax free in areas that are designated as such for personnel who are stationed in those areas or for personnel who are temporarily deployed to those areas. Otherwise, the base pay is taxed.
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SFC Mary Garman
SFC Mary Garman
5 y
SFC(P) (Verify To See) - had you used your GI BILL previously
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