Saturday, December 20, 2008

From Colonel Dan

Thomas D. Segel
956 423 3126

With Democrats In Control, Disabled Military Retirees Demand No
900 words

Harlingen, Texas, December 18, 2008: What are all veterans looking
for in the new administration come 2009? Well, Tony Nathe,
of the Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees (USDR) says, “If the
Executive Branch, the House and the Senate are now owned by one
there can be no more excuses for not passing full Concurrent Receipt
of Military Retired Pay!”

What he is referring to is a law that since 2004 allows military
retirees with 20 or more years of service and a Veterans Affairs
rated disability of 50% or higher to receive their VA Disability
Compensation and their retired pay without any offsetting
deductions. Prior to that 2004 law all military retirees had their
military retired pay reduced by any amount of disability
they received. What the USDR has been fighting for is for any
disabled military retiree, regardless of the percentage of
awarded should be treated in the same manner as those in the 50% to
100% disability range.

Nathe continues on the topic of Concurrent Receipt saying that when
it comes to passing such legislation, “each party has always
the other party for its failure.” With that standard excuse as a
backdrop, his organization plans to introduce a “No More Excuses
Campaign” and promote it through the retiree and veteran community.

He also points out that every government agency has its own advocacy
office to handle the affairs of retired personal, except the
military. He announces the USDR supports the establishment of an
Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Disabled Retiree
or an Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Retired Affairs
and will lobby for such an office. “It is time”, he says,
all the veteran service organizations and government officials to
stop lumping military retirees into the veteran category and give us
the category we earned with a lifetime of service…Military

Noel Pritzi, the USDR Past President reports his organization is
pushing for new legislation that will allow for the increase of
Veterans Affairs Supplemental Service Disabled Veterans Insurance
from the current $10,000 maximum amount to $100,000.

Pritzi points out that this is an insurance program that was created
through legislation in 1951 to provide a means for disabled veterans
to obtain coverage for their families in the event of their death.
Standard life insurance plans were not offered to them due to the
injuries they had received while in the service of their country.
More than 58 years have now passed without the VA seeking to
these insurance limits or Congress creating new legislation to
correct such an oversight.

Another disparity pointed out by Pritzi is a ruling, which says,
“You can purchase this insurance in amounts of $1,000 to $10,000.
However, if you have any other government life insurance the total
amount of the policies cannot exceed $10,000.” In a time when
standard funeral expenses can often run in excess of $10,000, this
insurance as currently limited amounts to nothing more than a burial

After more than a 100 year battle with Congress to obtain the same
benefits as other governmental retirees, which were the receipt of
their retirement pay, earned by years of service to the country,
disability compensation for service connected injuries, disabled
military retirees are now receiving benefits for the upper 50% of
those who were awarded a VA rating. Jim Reifinger is one such
military retiree who is now receiving

Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) for injuries received in
battle, along with his retirement pay for more than 20 years of

He is worried about the future of his finances because of rumors he
is hearing that are emanating from Washington. “My big question
are the Democrats going to allow us military retirees that are
receiving CRSC and military retirement, who are old enough for
Security to draw our benefits? I keep hearing that issue may come
into question.

The USDR has an extended list of items it wants to place in front of
this 100% Democrat Congress and Administration with “No Excuses”
accepted. The organization seeks the elimination of Medicare
payments for all military retirees, recalling that for most of them
free medical care was promised as a right during their service

They will seek legislation to provide full military burial honors
all military retirees.

They will also continue to support legislation that provides
mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Also, the
USDR will continue to support legislation that provides health and
dental care for military retirees and their dependents.

Finally, they will seek out and support legislation to eliminate any
offset or deduction from the full amount of benefits for Survivors
Benefit Plan recipients and those who receive Dependency and
Indemnity Compensation.

There is a quote I read, that had no attribution, but states the
clearly…”The soldier is not the cause of war. The soldier is
first victim of war”. All too often that victimization continues
long after he or she is retired and suffers alone with those
The victimizers are usually the government and the country the
soldier served.

Semper Fidelis,
Thomas D. Segel

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