American Legion to Washington: Cuts to Defense or Military Retirement Benefits Would Be Foolish, Risky

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Commenting on proposals to slash the DoD budget, the leader of The American Legion said the cuts, along with changes to military retirement benefits, are unnecessary and dangerous to America's national security.

"It is unconscionable to consider cuts to defense while we are engaged in three wars," National Commander Fang Wong said. "Throughout our nation's history, every time we cut defense we paid for it with American blood."

Wong warned that proposed cuts to the military's retirement pension and health care systems will also hurt America's ability to retain the forces that it needs.

"Comparing military retirement benefits with what is available in the private sector isn't comparing apples to oranges. It's comparing apples to peanuts, which are what our troops are paid," Wong said. "If our leaders in Washington are intent on making military life like the private sector, then that's the path our young people will choose – the private sector! 'Grandfathering' benefits for today's military, while cutting benefits for tomorrow's, guarantees that America will be less prepared to fight the next war.

"We all understand that America has an enormous national debt," Wong added. "Yet, we have no debt larger than what is owed to our veterans and those still serving in uniform. They have already paid their share.  Cut the budget elsewhere."

Contact:  John Raughter, jraughter@legion.org, 317-630-1350 / 317-441-8847; Marty Callaghan, mcallaghan@legion.org or 202-263-5758 / 202-215-8644.

SOURCE American Legion



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