The following was originated by Daniel Pettigrew, LCDR,SC,USN (Retired 26 years) and posted to the Veterans News and Information Service (vnis.com)
This could be a great Year for Military Retirees that have to pay their own VA service connected disability award. Representative Bilirakis will be proposing a new bill in the 105th Congress!!!!!!!
MILITARY SERVICE PEOPLE:
If you are a disabled retired military Vet (20-30 yrs service) who is sick and tired of paying for your own service connected disability VA Award from your earned retired pay and having this money go back to DOD to use as they see fit, NOT back to the retirement fund, we have to do something now!!!!!
QUESTION ?? CONGRESS, If The ARMED FORCES HAD a UNION; Would the Defense Department be able to get away with FORCING us to pay for Our Service Connected Disability VA Award from our Hard earned retired pay . . .
DID YOU KNOW THIS LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO Retired Congress-Persons, Federal Civil Service Job Holders or any other person who receives VA disability pay!!
FOR EXAMPLE, Bob Dole receives BOTH VA service connected disability PAY and US Senate retired pay. likewise, VA Chief, Jesse Brown Will ALSO receive VA service connected disability pay and Federal Civil Service retired pay. Of course, they earned it. On the other hand. please tell me where the fairness is . .
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO ??? First, don't get mad get organized. Take some positive action. Join our retired group. We are called Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees (USDR).
(History of USDR follows) We're a grass roots retired Veterans group that is primarily concerned with changing this unfair, unjust, and outrageous law. If you, whether a Military Retiree, Civilian or future Military Retiree are against Military Retirees having to pay for their own service connected disability VA Award send E-Mail or write your Senators and Representatives letting them know that you think Military retirees should be treated as an equal among their peers. For more information or if you would like to join USDR please contact Mike Oklak, USDR, President. (Address below)
HISTORY OF USDR
"Military Retirees should NOT have to pay their own VA Service Connected Disability Award."
Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees (USDR) was created/formed in November 1981 by six (6) Retired Military persons (Headed by Steve Wolonsky) who were members of the same DAV chapter in New Mexico. An initial contribution of $25.00 and USDR became a reality. The organization became a reality and was chartered by the State of New Mexico and received its non-profit status from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
USDR grew from the original six members to 2,600 by 1984. This growth has to be attributed to Randy Shoemaker of the Army,Navy and Air Force Times and to the National Association for Uniformed Services in the years 1982 and 1983.
In 1984, USDR filed suit in the United States Court of Claims. The Judge who should have recused (excused) himself ruled against USDR. An appeal was made to the U.S. Appellate Court, they followed the Claims Court decision and denied the appeal. A Petition of Certiorari was forwarded to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Petition was refused by the Solicitor General, therefore the U.S. Supreme Court never made a decision on this subject. All efforts to have a decision made have been futile.
The Military collation has joined the fight and with their support and the support of all citizens of these Great United States of America the time has come that Military Retirees will NOT have to pay for their own VA determined Service Connected Disabilities. NO retirees have an off-set taken from their retirement for this Service Connected Disability EXCEPT MILITARY RETIREES that earned their retirement from the years of honorable service to their Country. It's about time the congress realized that these RIGHTS are for different things and they should start to identify Military retirement and VA Service Connected Disability as TWO (2) separate subjects. It's up to us as American Citizens to write and send E-Mail to our Senators and Representatives requesting their support in any legislation that can correct this wrong doing to our Retirees.
All of the above is great but you need members and member support to accomplish your desires. USDR Membership is open to anyone that is interested in seeing that the Service Connected Retiree is treated equal to all other retirees. (Including Congress)
Anyone that would like additional information or would like to join USDR can contact:
USDR President: MIKE OKLAK
P.O. BOX 2841
SOUTH BEND, IN 46680