What's a Military Family Worth?

 

by Rush Limbaugh,
March 11, 2002



I think the vast differences in compensation between the victims of the September 11th casualty, and those who die serving the country in uniform, are profound. No one is really talking about it either because you just  don't criticize anything having to do with September 11th. Well, I just can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really
disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country.

If you lost a family member in the September 11th attack, you're going  to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million. If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a  $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month  until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.

 Keep in mind that some of the people that are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough.

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11th families are getting. In addition to that, some of

the  families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for  compensation as well. You see where this is going, don't you?

Folks, this is part and parcel of over fifty years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad.

 "Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the  tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." --Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

Every time when a pay raise comes up for the military they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low rent housing. However our own U.S. Congress just voted themselves a
raise, and many of you don't know that they only have to be in

Congress one-time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month and most are now equal to be millionaires plus. They also do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system.

 If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as a E-7 you may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed you in harms way receive a pension of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.

*******************************

America owes troops better pay, benefits

By Frank Schaeffer

Marine Staff Sgt. Aaron White was killed in a helicopter crash on May 19, 2003, in Iraq. Here is an excerpt from his last letter home to his wife, Michele, and his baby daughter, Brianna

“What keeps me up at night is thanking you never know what you mean to me...if I don’t come home, please tell Brianna that her daddy loves her more than life. ... Brianna, it breaks my heart to have to miss your first birthday. I hope that you will for give me. ...I fall asleep every night with visions of you and your mommy in my head, reminding me of all I have been blessed with. I will be with you every day, if not in body, then in spirit. I love you more than my words can say.

Aaron White was killed two days after Brianna turned 1.

When an American in a military uniform is killed, his or her family receives a one time death gratuity of $12,000. The surviving family may also qualify for the Survivor Benefit Plan, which is paid up to age 62 or until the spouse remarries. The SBP benefits amounts 55 percent of the soldier’s retirement pay--pay that is already so low it qualifies many military families for food stamps.

These benefits are contingent on fulfilling many petty regulations. For instance, Michele White did not qualify for the SBP because her husband had been in the Marines Corps just under 10 years.

Several other benefits, such as the income-based Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, may pay out about $800 a month and $200 per child, depending on the case. Michele White did not qualify because of several arcane technicalities, Michele and Brianna white’s medical benefits will end three years from the date of Aaron White’s death.


But Michele White did receive some modest insurance compensation because her husband had paid for coverage out of his meager salary

A just-released study by the Rand Corp. found that the families of civilians killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks received on average $3.1 million in government and charitable compensation. The families of the fire fighters and police officers who died received even more; their average compensation was $4.2 million.

Our soldiers are being killed on a daily basis, but most of us seem to feel little personal connection with them. If we did, their widows and families would be better compensated. Our idea of “supporting the troops” is to stick magnetic yellow ribbons on our cars. Those Americans who do not serve or do not have family serving are disconnected from our all-volunteer forces and their families

I know, I never served in the military, and before my son unexpectedly enlisted in the Marines and then went to war in the Middle East for 11 months, I looked at our military as made up of people who had little to do with me.

Let’s strip away our yellow-ribboned sentimentality for a moment and admit the truth: We treat our military like second-class citizens. I’m glad the 9/11 families were generously compensated, but it’s time to ask why the family of someone who has done no more for his country than show up at a stock trading office on the wrong day should receive hundreds of times as much compensation as the family of a soldier who volunteered to leave his wife and child to defend the rest of us.

Most of the dead from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are being buried in small towns and in the blue color or middle- and - lower-middle-class sections of our cities. Our politicians seen better able to identify with the needs of stock traders’ widows (not to mention the businesses and airlines that were also generously compensated) than with the needs of the families of our soldiers. This is a scandal.

In his second-to-last letter home Aaron White wrote: “Believe me I am not having a good time here. This is an ugly hasty land. I hope (our) people appreciate the blood we are to spill.”

Judging by how we are taking care of his widow and daughter, apparently the answer is that we do not.


The Washington Post

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