Update (02-28-11, 10:00) Comment are closed, the discussion has veered into repetitious personal attacks.
Jeff Pelline, our local middle of the road, left leaning blogger writes that he is chapped by retired military personnel receiving benefits. He writes:
One thing that really chaps me about guys like Russ Steele is that they have benefited from government “handouts,” if you will, their whole lives: a government-paid college education (by Russ’ own admission), a VA loan for a house I suspect, a pension from the Air Force I presume, a government stimulus check to retirees from Obama, and really good health care for the family.
Let put all this chapping in perspective. In 1960, with two years of college under my belt, I joined the Air Force and as was commissioned a 2nd Lt upon graduation from Navigation school. I signed a contract to service for four years and defend the United States, and if necessary at the cost of my life. As the end of the four years I was commissioned a Regular Office with a 20 year commitment. I signed a contract to support and defend this nation, and if necessary at the cost of my life.
According to that contract for 20 years of service at reduce salary, I would be guaranteed a retirement at 50% of by base pay, low cost medical care for me and my family and other VA benefits as authorized by congress. About six years into my 20 year tour, President Johnson need more money for his social programs and decided that we should also pay Social Security taxes, which reduced our take home play even more. During my first 10 years, I completed my college degree while attending Air Command and Staff College. I went to school 12 hours a day, five days a week, for 9 months, studying on weekends.
I was married in 1963 and Ellen and I raised four daughter while I was in the Air Force. We moved 14 times in 20 year, losing money on every move. Once they were in school, all those moves took a toll on our children. We put all four through college on my TRW Salary, our savings, and a family endowment.
Following my 20 years in the Air Force I joined TRW and started a 401K saving account and used the TRW medical plan. I did not start using government medical services until four years after I retried from TRW in 2000. Yes, the VA guaranteed our home loan, but we made every payment. Was that a "handout"? It could have had an FHA guaranteed loan.
I tell you what chaps me, is that people like Jeff Pelline, who to my knowledge have never served in the military, claim that retired military are getting government "handouts." I signed a contract with the government for 20 years of service. I full filled my side of the contract with distinction, now I want the government to fill their side of the contract, that is not a handout. My benefits are payments on a commitment the government made in 1964.
Since we move back to Nevada County, Ellen and I have worked to make this a better place to live. She served on the Grand Jury for 20 month. Being a retired military officer, with a 401K plan, I have the resources and time to invest in our community. I served on the Transportation Commission twice. When the ERC hired Larry Burkardt, I was the first ERC Volunteer, and I have volunteered to support all the ERC Presidents since the ERC was established. I served in the Chamber Board for four years, I helped get the Nevada County County Leadership Institute started. I helped bring Internet to the Library and Nevada County Schools. I am currently on the SESF Board and support theTechTest merit scholarship program for graduating high school students seeking careers in engineering and science.
Exit Question: What volunteer time has Jeff Pelline contributing to our community?