Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Legion Opposes Military Retiree Cost-of-Living Cut

ALBANY -- The American Legion strongly opposes a cost-of-living cut for military retirees in the budget bill passed by the House and sent to the Senate last week, New York State American Legion Commander Kenneth Governor said.

The one percent cut in the annual cost of living allowance for retirees under age 62 will have "a devastating and long-lasting impact by reducing retired pay by nearly 20 percent at age 62," Governor said. "Most estimates put the eventual loss of income at around $70,000 on the low end and over $120,000 on the high end."

"While there are things to applaud in the budget bill," the Department of New York commander said, "one thing is certain -- cutting retirement benefits is a slap in the face of the men and women who sacrificed for their country, ready at moment's notice to put themselves in harm's way. As much as some may want to compare military service to a civilian job, we know there is no comparison. Not when you're a soldier or sailor or marine or airman willing to take a bullet for the American people. What a Christmas present!"

The American Legion, he said, is urging its members and the public to demand that their U.S. senators remove the cost-of-living-allowance reduction for military retirees from the budget bill. Sen. Charles Schumer's office in Washington may be reached at 202-224-6542; and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's office at 202-224-4451.

"They're balancing the budget on the backs of our military and veterans who are already being asked to do more with less," Governor said. "The public should be infuriated."