Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama to ATG veterans: Forget you for your service

Erika Bolstad of Anchorage Daily News reported last week:
In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining presidential priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration said Friday it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard.
Reaction is coming in, and it's not positive for our inept leftist president.

Our friend Lisa Graas asks:
"What on earth is wrong with this president?"
Moonbattery has an answer:
"I think the problem is that these veterans were defending Alaska, which is not only full of people bitterly clinging to their guns and Bibles, but is also the state that elected Sarah Palin governor. For the petty, vindictive tinpot in the Oval Office, this means they deserve to be punished."
In January, then Governor Palin wrote a letter to the rookie president on behalf of the veterans:
Dear Mr. President:

It was with great concern that I learned of the recent decision by the Department of Defense to rescind the program that currently provides retirement payments to veterans of Alaska's Territorial Guard (ATG). This unfortunate decision was made without any notice to those affected and will cost a group of elderly Alaska veterans a significant portion of their retirement income at a time when the cost of living, particularly in rural Alaska, is substantially higher than in the rest of the United States.

In 2004, Congress fully vetted this issue and decided that service in the ATG was the same as military service. This is the right and proper way to honor these brave individuals who answered the call of duty during times of great national peril.

Prior to World War II, Alaska's territorial Governor was authorized by Congress to organize a two-branch military response organization - the organized National Guard, and the ATG, which would mobilize to help defend Alaskans in the event of an invasion. An estimated 6,600 men and women, mostly Alaska Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts, responded to that call Instead of hunting, trapping and fishing, they patrolled rural Alaska and served as the eyes and ears of the Army for more than five years without pay and benefits.

It took our nation almost 60 years to have these defenders of our territory honored for their time in the ATG, and for their service to be counted the same as federal military service. While most died waiting for their recognition, some have survived to receive their honorable discharge from the United States Army.

Now they are being told, again, that their ATG service is not worthy of federal recognition, and that is not right.

These people are our heroes.

The stellar service of these mostly rural, mostly Native, soldiers is to Alaska today what the service of the militia at Lexington and Concord was to New England.

I urge you to remember all that these valiant members of the ATG sacrificed while defending this country and ask that you reconsider this decision and immediately reinstate the retirement benefits that Congress already recognized in 2004 and that these heroes have certainly earned.

Thank you for considering my views.

Sarah Palin
Alaska's legislature passed a bill earlier this year to temporarily pay the vets pending a more permanent fix by the U.S. Congress, but, according to ADN:
"The White House said Friday it didn't think it was 'appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay.'"
But the vets, at the time of their service, were not "state employees" as Alaska was then a U.S. Territory. Midwest Conservative Journal:
"Barack Obama once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. If any of my children had ever taken a course from him, I’d be calling the school and demanding my money back. How is it logically possible to perform “state service” when one doesn’t live in a state?"
A Time For Choosing:
"To diminish these brave Alaska Natives as 'state employees' is to diminish all of the brave men and women who served their nation in all sorts of ways during [WWII]."

"For those that don’t know, the Japanese attacked and invaded Alaska’s Aleutian Islands at the same time the battle of Midway was about to take place. It was part diversion, part payback for Doolittle’s bombing of Tokyo."


"To purposely cut these aged men off, in the twilight of their lives, goes against everything America stands for. In fact, as this cuts off not only a substantial part of their paycheck, but other benefits, such as medical, one might even say this is sort of a death panel, especially knowing that winter is coming, and heating fuel is quite expensive in Alaska."

"I can’t speculate what makes Barack Obama such a heartless and cruel man. I do know that once again, Obama’s radical, communist upbringing has shown itself front and center."
Ace of Spades HQ:
"The president is willing to spend billions reforming taking over the healthcare system but can't spare a few bucks to pay 26 elderly guardsmen an average of $600 a month for the rest of their lives? So yeah, I would say this more than 'borders' on insensitive. It defines it."

"Just when I thought the Obama administration has lost the ability to surprise me."

"Priorities - In other news, the president plans to visit Copenhagen to lobby in support of Chicago getting the 2016 Olympics. A report from Henry Waxman from 2006 estimates the cost of flying Air Force One at $56,518 an hour."
We have long been of the opinion that Jimmy Carter was, hands down, the worst U.S. president in history. But after less than a year in the office, Barack Obama is giving Grits a run for his money. As bad as Carter was -- and he was terrible -- he at least had some degree of respect for our military veterans, having himself served in the Navy. We cannot say the same for clueless President Zero.

- JP

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