Originally created 09/13/03

Disagrees with comments on vets' retirement

After reading the Aug. 25 letter by Linda Flythe, "Opposes disability pay for 'double dipping' by retired vets," I had to respond to the misleading information she gave about retired veterans.

First, a veteran is anyone who has served at least 180 days, but a retired veteran must serve at least 20 years. For retirees to receive disability compensation pay from Veterans Affairs, they have to give up all or a portion of their retirement. This is called congressional discrimination and has been going on since 1892. It's a dollar-for-dollar offset - for every dollar they receive from VA, the Department of Defense takes away a dollar from their retirement.

Ms. Flythe stated that any retired veteran who was disabled in combat or who has a Purple Heart currently receives full benefits. She is wrong. Not all retired veterans who were disabled as a result of combat receive full benefits, because they either: were retired medically before their 20 years were up; took the severance pay; or their injuries may have been rated by the VA as 0 to 30 percent disabling.

Ms. Flythe shouldn't begrudge the retiree, since she's enjoying the freedom that we all, as Americans, have grown accustomed to. She needs to be focusing her attention on our elected representatives for not voting for or signing HR 303 or the discharge petition to have this bill voted on.

Maybe if Ms. Flythe's husband had retired and was getting penalized like the rest of the retired veterans, she would see the real truth. The truth is that the military is the only career that doesn't allow a person to retire and collect his given disability pay plus his retirement without being penalized.

Brian E. Wilner, North Augusta, S.C.


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