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  • Wednesday, October 27, 2004


    Welcome Home, Heroes

    I'm not a big fan of the military in principle. Particularly odious to me is the use of the military for imperial and/or capitalistic goals. However I am in favor of treating people well, especially if they are doing dangerous work. The treatment of the military and soldiers by this administration epitimizes to me the problem a monetary bottomline mentality. On paper, I'm sure these cuts and budget adjustments make sense. But in terms of the people who are injured and die in the service of the state, I think it's appalling. As opposed as I am to the current military actions, I still think the individual soldiers and their families are not who should suffer for it.
    From Bush's War Against the Military:

    "By April this year, one in six veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan had filed benefits claims with the Veterans Administration for service-related disabilities. These figures do not include those troops still serving and are twice the number the DOD Web site says suffered 'Non-Mortal Wounds' in those conflicts. Today, one-third of those claims, almost 10,000, have yet to be processed. Further, Bush's 2005 budget will cut 540 staff members of the Veterans Benefit Administration, which is the office that handles the claims. The outreach department that lets vets know of available services also was instructed in a 2002 memo by a deputy undersecretary in the Veterans Health Administration to run in silent mode to flush out people who had not made claims out of ignorance.

    Even if the war wounded succeed in getting disability pay, in 2003 Bush threatened to veto a bill that allowed veterans to collect disability pay and pensions simultaneously.

    In 2003, his administration also tried to cut combat pay from $225 to $150 a month and the family separation allowance from $250 to $100. And most callously of all, the frat brat who ducked a war that killed 48,000 American troops threatened to veto a proposal to double the $6,000 payment to relatives of soldiers killed in action."

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