Monday, 10 September 2012

Downsizing the Military -- A Disgrace

Yesterday two very lovely women came by my booth here on Radio Row, where I am broadcasting the show live from Tampa for the RNC. I was told they were military wives and something terrible was happening to them. When I heard their story, I initially did not believe it. When you hear it, you won't believe it either. And I fervently hope that you will contact your elected representatives immediately to do something about it. Because it is a disgrace.
What is happening is that close to 3,000 enlisted men and women are being downsized from the navy. That's right -- downsized. Not fired due to performance, or transferred to another station. They have been given their walking papers in the middle of their stints and told to find something else to do. Go find another house, another job, another health plan. That's the thanks they get for signing on the dotted line, volunteering to sacrifice their lives for our country. That's the thanks they get for loaning their spouses out for months at a time, on duty that takes them away from the first day of kindergarten, birthdays, holidays and the day the dog died.
Listen to this kicker our wonderful military offered these patriots. We'll give you severance, they said, but only on the condition that you serve in active reserve for three years. Moreover, if you have to file for disability, which many may need to do, then you have to give the severance BACK. You read that correctly. After years of service and sacrifice, after becoming disabled in the line of duty, the military wants money back from our vets.

Beth Armstrong's husband Paul has been in the service for 15 years. He is an aviation structural mechanic, with an E 6 rank. Beth and he have six children, aged 4 months to 11 years old, with a pair of twins in there for good measure. The military contracted for their housing, and now their landlord has given them a notice to evict. Beth came on my show yesterday and told me that she literally does not know where they will end up. Paul found a job, but it pays $30,000 less than his old one. Health insurance for her and the kids is iffy -- and if the government withdraws their benefits, they will be sunk. But the worst part is that Paul is emotionally devastated. Serving in the military is all he ever wanted to do. He has done nothing wrong, everything right. He feels so used, so confused, and so bitterly disappointed in our system.
When you sign up with the military, you don't get the choice to leave because you want to. You have to stay. Period. If you do leave, the consequences to your life are significant. The government wants to make sure you adhere to your contract, that you keep your bargain. Now our government is breaking that bargain. They think it's OK to break a contract with our enlisted servicemen and women and they think they can get away with it.
They can't get away with it. They shouldn't get away with it. These people need your help to reverse this outrageous decision, this disgraceful injustice that is being perpetrated on our bravest citizens.
If you want to know how you can help, contact Jennifer Beasley at or join the facebook page sailorsagainsterb.
Listen in today live on the Lisa Wexler Show for an interview with Jennifer Beasley, whose family faces this fate. Today 4PM EST., or

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