To all the flag-wavin’, flag-clutchin’, flag-wearin’, flag-supportin’ members of the the GOP, and this includes senatorial candidate Dean Heller, here’s some unsolicited advice on how to truly be supportive of our Armed Forces and veterans. Some of these don’t translate well into bumper stickers or shouted slogans, but they just might be more effective.
#1. Let’s start with NOT separating from service members of the military and reservists who happen to be immigrants on a path to citizenship. [USAT] For crying out loud, these people are VOLUNTEERS. They have volunteered to place themselves deliberately in harm’s way to protect the safety and security of the rest of us. Aren’t these exactly the kind of people we want to join us as citizens of these United States?
#2. Let’s stop creating deportation issues for some 11,800 members of our military families [MilTimes] and let’s stop deporting the spouses of our veterans [NBC]. Where, please, are the voices of our members of the US Senate — yes, Senator Heller, this includes you — and the voices of our Representatives in the House? And, yes, Rep. Amodei (R-NV2) this means you as well. Please don’t try to convince me of your love and respect for active duty personnel and veterans while you allow them to worry about the deportation status of their spouses — and the mothers and fathers of their children.
#3. Let’s start paying members of the military what they are worth rather than beginning the calculation with what we think is the least amount we can pay and still meet budget restrictions. For example, the pay increase for member of the US military for 2017 was 2.1%, and granted that’s above the “austerity years” previously, but the inflation rate for 2017 was also 2.1% so our members of the armed forces didn’t actually get a raise in terms of real purchasing power. The latest bill includes a 2.6% pay raise. Will this cover inflation rates? [Mil.com] [FedPay] Can I get an “Amen!” from Senator Heller? From Representative Amodei? I’m not hearing anything…
#4. And, while we are discussing purchasing power… Remember back in April 2018 when the White House floated a proposal to cut SNAP benefits? [Mil.com] Those cuts would effect members of the US military. [Mil.com] That argument was still going on as of July 5, 2018. [SanAntonioC] How about we decide not to have this argument at all. How about paying members of the US military enough so SNAP benefits are unnecessary, or if they must be then making sure military families have sufficient resources to put food on their tables? This would seem to be a very supportive thing to advocate? Yes? Senator Heller? Yes? Representative Amodei?
Meanwhile, what’s happening in the current legislation headed to the Oval Office [USNI] on Basic Housing Allowances? Whenever Senator McConnell says things including the phrase “more opportunity,” I begin to wonder Whose Opportunity to do what. On Tricare? On dental treatment plans?
In short, let’s stop talking about “thank you for your service,” and “support the troops,” and DO something that allows them to be thankful they joined the US Armed Forces. If we truly appreciate their service then we ought to be willing to pay for it.