wrote about my nephew Matthew Britt’s graduation from college. Then I saw a
letter he had written to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. It was well written
and made a good point. I thought my readers might enjoy reading that letter as
Matt Britt’s Letter to his Senator
from me [Matt Britt], to the senior Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill. While I am not
retiring from the military, I do believe that all my friends still serving
deserve what they were promised for all the hardships of that last decade plus.
at my SEMO graduation this past weekend and were quite engaging. I graduated
with two degrees, one being in political science, so I want you to understand
that I understand that there needs to be an actual budget, the budget process
and that at times things must be signed into law that we all do not agree with
in their entirety. I was writing in response to your vote of yea on the current
budget that allowed for the decrease in veteran's benefits. I was writing
because to me, and many other veteran's, it was a slap in the face for those
who have given so much. I spent nine years in Army Special Operations, of which
a third was spent in areas where people actively wanted, and tried to, kill me
and my friends and co-workers on a daily basis. I loved my job, those I worked
with and my country.
I look at
the cut to the COLA of retirees as piddly stopgap to a problem that we, as an
entire nation, face. We need to balance the budget and cut spending. That is a
fact that I wholly agree with, my issue is with the cuts. During my time in
service, on more than one occasion, I was asked to sit on a panel and look at
and trouble shoot products that had been contracted out for my Group. One item
looked cool, was an interesting idea but totally unfeasible for what our
mission was downrange. It only took three years and millions of dollars for us
to be able to tell them that it was a waste of time since we would never use
the product. That was just one product on one panel I sat that week. Maybe a
little less in this department would be more cost effective. Even stopping the
Army from all of the uniform changes would have saved millions. Look towards
the programs that always come in over budget and lacking in results to save
seems that troop benefits are always a target for cuts, even more insulting
considering the lack in number of veterans in elected office. I guess I just
find it disappointing that my leading Senator, who aired many commercials
during the last election cycle about standing up for veteran’s rights, chose to
vote this way. Military life is already hard enough. Physically, mentally and
emotionally it takes a toll, especially after twelve years of active combat.
Unlike people in your position, soldiers are not fully vested in a retirement
program after five years. Not even at ten or eighteen. Service members must
serve a full twenty years to receive their retirement.
So I am
asking, what makes your job so much more important that it allows you to vote
to cut the benefits of the people that actually put their life on the line
supporting and defending the nation? I would like to know where enough will be
enough when it comes to caring for those who actually gave so much for their
country? I would like to know what you plan to do to ensure that those benefits
promised the fine men and women who volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way
will not continually end up on the chopping block or as bargaining chips in a
government where the political parties seem more interested in sticking it to
the other party than doing the job they were elected to do?
appreciate the time and hope that you and yours have a happy holiday season.
Perhaps Matthew Britt should consider running for office himself?
I'm Rick Blumenberg . . .
and that's My View from Tanner Creek.
Bridgman, Michigan, Southwest Michigan, United States
Author of three published books:
"The Prayer Support System: A plan to Strengthen the Local Church",
"Let's Get Down to Basics: An Introduction to Christian Living", and
"Standing with the Saints: A History of Yellow Creek Lake Camp/Ministry Center and Congregations of the church of God in Northern Indiana".