Stan Spangle Sr.: Congress has work to do on budget

Aug. 15, 2013 @ 08:29 PM

As most of you know, Congress — still on recess — has until the second week of September to return and get back to work. That means they will only have about three weeks to pass the necessary legislation needed to fund the federal government before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
House Speaker John Boehner is talking about a continuing resolution “CR” to fund the government and give Congress more time to pass the needed budgets. Also, rumor has it that a number of congressional members are willing to let the government shut down if they don’t get their way on spending issues, which will mean more cutting of the federal budgets.
The national news about two weeks ago was about Medal of Honor recipient and former Vietnam POW, Col. George “Bud” Day passing away. Day was a man of great courage and tremendous conviction. Indeed, military retirees remember him best for his leadership of the Class Act Group (of which I am a member) that fought a legal battle based on the premise that the U.S. government’s offer of lifetime medical care to military members if they served in the Armed Forces for 20 or more years was a contract.
The U.S. military personnel accepted and fulfilled that contract, but the government then reneged on it in 1995 by breaching the contract and denying us continued care in military facilities. Day was able to take our case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against us. Although he did not win the battle for lifetime medical care for military retires in the courts, it was because of his efforts that Congress ended up passing TRICARE for Life (TFL).
On Aug. 7, we remembered that in 1782, General George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle. It is generally considered to be the first military award of the United States military. It is also the first in modern history that an award for gallantry was awarded to an enlisted soldier (in Europe only high ranking officers would receive medals).
Washington said, “In America, the road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is … open to all.” It was intended for soldiers who exhibited, “not only instances of unusual gallantry in battle, but also extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way.”
Semper Fi. Pray for the families of the fallen.

Stan Spangle Sr. is a 21-year veteran of the Marine Corps, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He’s a member of numerous veterans organizations. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.