"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Group opposes RP vets, thinks money will be taken away from US veterans

In a message dated 5/27/2008 10:28:41 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, dale98@tampabay.rr.com writes:

This is not hate mail about the Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2007. This is about the U. S. VETERANS AND SURVIVING SPOUSES BEING PUT BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITHOUT QUESTION.

Pass along from: Norm Campbell.

Norm does his homework, especially on subjects that he believes in so strongly, as I do on this. Thanks Norm.

I thought about this for a long, long time last night, the more I thought of it the angrier I got. My husband (deceased) was declared "housebound" by the VA, he also recieved Special Monthly Compensation, for additional disabilities, along with the fact that I draw Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the VA. Norm refers to DIC in his statement. So you see, I understand the facts that are stated in "U.S. House of Representatives to Debate a $1 Billion Cut in Wartime Elderly, Poor, Disabled Veterans' Benefits", very well.

Re: "U.S. House of Representatives to Debate a $1 Billion Cut in Wartime Elderly, Poor, Disabled Veterans' Benefits"

Excerpt: "Please let me know what you think of this cut of nearly $1 billion in benefits from veterans who most need our support by calling (202) 225-3527." (See original e-mail, in it's entirety, below Norm's message.)

My phone call and a fax to my Rep. will go out today and I called the number listed above and voiced my opinion. I spoke to a gentleman named John. He asked that we please get the word out.

Jean D. Beard
Surviving Spouse of: Wiley M. Beard USAF (Ret.)

----- Original Message -----
From: Norman Campbell
To: MRGRG MS Talk ; MRGRG-NM@yahoogroups.com ; Jean D. Beard
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 12:36 PM
Subject: [mrgrg-ms-talk] Re: U.S. House of Representatives to Debate a $1 Billion Cut in Wartime Elderly, Poor, Disabled Veterans' Benefits

Jean et al, As you know I have opposed this from when it first was introduced in the House by Representative Filner (CA) last year. Here is my reasoning;

1. It is funded by money taken away from our own disabled veterans. Even if Congress determines these veterans should not have this extra money, it still is funded by taking money from the VA budget that in the long run is taking money away from every American veteran using the VA System. There are enough funding problems with the VA now without this.

2. No American veteran of WWII gets a pension, unless disabled, or serves for 20 or more years. Why give a pension to a foreign national when we don't give one to our own? I can see this as a possibility of opening the door to provide a pension to all American WWII veterans and could go along with it - but I don't trust Congress for several good reasons.

3. This is nothing but a "buying votes" effort on the part of Representative Filner - he has a large Filipino constituency.

4. Included in the bill is a reduced DIC provision to the widows of these Filipino veterans. Congress won't eliminate the SBP/DIC offset for our own widows because there "is no money." Yet here they find the money at the expense of our own veteran population to provide a foreign national widow with DIC payments. There's nothing so far this year in the NDAA to increase the miserly amount of this offset Congress authorized last year for our widows.

5. By standards in the Philippines, these pension to their veterans and widows will place them in the upper brackets of income while many of our own in comparable positions struggle in poverty.

6. Many do not know that the VA operates a clinic and benefits office in the Manila area for these veterans. This is all funded out of the VA budget. Here's an excerpt for the VA.

"The U. S. government provides veteran's benefits programs for certain Philippine nationals as well as veterans of the U. S. armed forces living in the Philippines.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has maintained a Regional Office in the Philippines since 1921. The Regional Office is located at 1131 Roxas Blvd. Manila 0930 in the U.S. Embassy Annex Building. Benefits counselors are available from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday to answer veteran's benefits questions. Our toll free telephone number is 1-800 1-888 5252. 528-2500. In Metro Manila our direct line 528-2500. To send e-mail inquiries, visit our website at https://iris.va.gov/.

In addition to the Regional Office, VA operates a Clinic located at 2201 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300. Clinic hours of operation are from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Medical care is limited to service connected disabilities only and includes out-patient care at the clinic and in-patient care at various contract hospitals. Prior authorization is required for non-emergency out-patient care and hospitalization. Persons having questions concerning eligibility for treatment should call 833-4566; Fax:(632)831-4454. To send e-mail inquiries, visit our website at https://iris.va.gov/."

7. My argument is that the US Government should take care of its own before taking care of foreign nationals. The list of inequities imposed upon us is so lengthy, starting with the broken healthcare promise, concurrent receipt for the under 50% disabled, elimination of the SBP/DIC offset and on and on and our fight to try to keep what we so justly earned. All of this and here we are fighting to stop increases in our healthcare while Congress finds money to support foreign nationals. It just doesn't make common sense.

Having said all this, I have nothing against the Filipino veteran and I do hope their own government will provide them all with pensions - it's their government's responsibility, not ours. I appreciate their efforts and sacrifices while clearing their own homeland of the Japanese. I landed at Nichols Field outside Manila on a runway of PSP when transferring from China to Tinian during WWII. I saw the devastation of Manila, once called the "Pearl of the Orient." Then it was all part of the war, but looking back it now, the suffering of the Filipinos was a tradgedy. But I can not forget the thousands of American GI's who fought there - if they are not disabled they get no pension from our government. It's a slap in the face by Congress to these old veterans if this bill passes.

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