Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: This Also Should be a Crime

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

This Also Should be a Crime

The people fighting the war in Iraq and serving in the important military functions at home and throughout the world deserve our deepest respect. While I have been extremely critical of the war in Iraq and argued against sending troops there, I believe the soldiers must receive not only our deepest gratitude but their proper reward for their service to our nation.

It upsets me to see politicians who support the war then turn their back on the actual soldiers. There were talks in the Defense Department about lowering the pay to combat soldiers by redefining the war in Iraq as non-combat. Fortunately, this idea was quickly crushed after an outraged public received wind of this idea. Unfortunately, our soldiers have been sent to Iraq without the proper equipment, clothing, and protective vests. The military commanders in Iraq still report a shortage of body armor, night sights, combat helmets, and bolt on vehicle armor, according to Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post. This is where the real test of patriotism should be: Are we prepared to not just cheer our soldiers, but provide them with what is needed so they can do their job while minimizing the risk to themselves.

It upsets me to learn these soldiers have to worry if they will have their full retirement benefits when they return. According to Federal law, a soldier with intervening service cannot be denied their full retirement benefits. Yet, state employees called into military service are being denied exactly that.

Retirement benefits are calculated according to a formula. Part of this formula includes a multiplier. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, credit for time served as a state employee is multiplied by a 2.5% multiplier. Pennsylvania also gives credit for past military service with a 2.0% multiplier. Yet, Pennsylvania is giving returning state employers called into service a multiplier of 2.0% for their time spent in military duty when they return to their state jobs. This is not only a disgrace, it may be illegal, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Our soldiers deserve the full 2.5% multiplier.

True patriotism is more than waving a flag. It is rewarding those who serve us. Our state employees called into military service should get more than our thanks. They should also receive the compensation and benefits due them.


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