Last week I read the letter to the editor entitled “Veteran: Reports on POTUS are bogus”. I disagree with the author’s opinions and felt it my obligation as a military retiree/ veteran to explain why.
The POTUS takes credit for giving the military the largest pay raise in the last decade. His administrations highest military pay raise was 2.6% versus the 3.4% given by the Bush administration in 2010. He contends he rebuilt our military depleted by the last administration. Comparatively, his 2.9 trillion military budgets since he took office is no match to the 3.3 trillion military budgets during the first four years of the last administration.
The POTUS defrayed 3.6 billion of DOD military construction dollars, and another 2.5 billion DOD dollars dedicated to stop drug trafficking for use on expanding the wall he promised Mexico would pay for. His administration initiated a mandatory temporary deferral of the 6.2% Social Security Taxes for military and DOD employees (15th Sept to 31 Dec 2020). The disparaging part is the government plans to recoup this money in 2021 (January to April). This means smaller paychecks and potential hardships for many lower ranking military and DOD veteran employees.
The POTUS insist he has done more to enhance the VA system than any of his predecessors. He takes credit for the Veterans Access Accountability Act or Veterans Choice Program when in fact he signed the VA Missions Act which lacks sustainable funding to support private sector treatment for veterans. The experimental use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID 19 by the VA on our veterans is shameful.
It was President Reagan who said “Surround Yourself with great people, delegate authority and get out of the way”. That is what the POTUS said he was going to do when he appointed and nominated LT. General McMaster, General Mattis and General Kelly to advise him on DOD and National Security Policies. However, he chose to not listen or take their advice and since their departure has gone on a rage to ridicule them simply because they spoke out against his policies.
It’s was appalling to hear the POTUS say “I know more about ISIS than the General’s do”; call General Mattis “The world’s overrated General”, and say that General Kelly “Could not handle the pressure of the Chief of Staff’s job”. Veterans like myself are tired of this type of hogwash coming from our Commander in Chief.
The fact that the POTUS alleged calling military and veterans Losers and Suckers has not been disproven. The Bob Woodward recordings are an indictment against the POTUS, as well as his defaming the Gold Star Khan family’s son, and his failure to acknowledge the late Senator John McCain as a war hero.
In no way has the POTUS shown the utmost respect of our military and veterans. Instead he’s shown a lack of respect!!
Paul Thurston, Richmond Hill.Retired Army chief warrant officer 5.