, Salem, MA

December 26, 2013

Letter: Tierney no friend to military families

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

U.S. Rep. John Tierney truly has no respect for military retirees. He voted recently to cut my military retirement pay. This is the pay that I was promised when I fulfilled the requirements (laid out by Congress) to earn my pension.

Now, he and his staff will tell you I’m lying. They will point to his website where he lists 13 military-centric House resolutions he supported or supports. Eight of these are to repair a broken Veterans Administration system, thanks to Congress, that is long overdue, and the remainders deal with sexual assault. But none of those are about taking earned benefits away or breaking promises and trust. And please don’t bring up “fair share.” I’ll be more than glad to compare the military’s sacrifices with anyone.

We trust our lawmakers to regulate our pay, which is the foundation of our retirement formula, in a fair and equitable manner. We can understand years without a cost of living adjustment or even a minuscule 1 percent pay raise (believe me, I know). But when we are selectively targeted for a pay cut, as in this case, it’s hard to believe he supports veterans and retirees. Instead, we see the choice by our elected officials to say, “Your service wasn’t really as good as ours, so you take a pay cut.” Please notice they kept in place their own retirement system and that of their staffers. Despicable.

Those in the military have a pretty solid understanding of trust that goes like this: I have been trained and trained well. I perform my job very well, and I trust my fellow soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors will do the same. I trust their efforts will be as good as mine, for we have much riding on it. We also trust and expect those who provide all the necessary support before, during and after our service are also doing their best, In this case, however, I see nothing but failure of trust and a blinding disregard for the promises made to those who served.

Dave Wall