Stan Spangle Sr.: Veterans still battling for deserved benefits

Jan. 16, 2014 @ 09:02 PM

Two weeks ago on Jan. 4, we had a good turnout, considering the cold snap we were having, at our quarterly veterans gathering at Highland United Methodist Church. We had 19 veterans and their ladies, which I considered pretty good in light of the rough weather. We spent some time discussing the contaminated water problems at Camp Lejeune. The time frame the government is going to use is Jan. 1, 1953, through Dec. 31, 1987. At one time they were discussing going back to 1949/1950, but the official word now is 1953 as the year they will go back to.
It started last Dec.20. The DoD and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) announced a partnership to expand TSA Pre-check, expedited screening benefits to all U.S. Armed Forces service members, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and the National Guard. As a result of the agreement, the traveling military will be able to enjoy the benefits of the program at the 100 participating airports across the country.” Expanding the TSA screening benefits is great news for our traveling service members and is a tangible sign of this nation’s gratitude for the men and women who serve this nation each and every day,” said Mary Snavely-Dixon, director, Defense Manpower Data Center. “We will continue to work with the TSA to help expand this program further.”
Information from The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) tells us that the push to repeal last year’s federal budget provision that cuts the COLA for military retirees under the age of 62 is back on where it left off last year. In fact it did not stop for the holidays. Those of you who contacted your members of Congress about this issue, we all say Thank You! Don’t stop now. Keep the pressure on. Keep pushing!
TREA has pre-prepared letters concerning this crucial issue. To use TREA’s prepared letter go to,  http://www.capwiz.com/trea/issues/bill. For those that don’t use computers, our representatives’ mailing address’s are listed in the phone book. Keep their feet to the fire. Don’t let them stand still!
The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) has been given more time to complete its report to the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The commission has until February of 2015 to finish its report rather than May of this year. This means that the recommendations won’t arrive till after the 2014 congressional elections are over and won’t effect this year’s budget negotiations. This will give us the time we need to try to influence the commission of the importance of military compensation and the earned benefits to ALL military personnel and therefore the security of our nation.
Semper Fi.
Pray for the fallen and their families.

Gy/Sgt. Stan Spangle Sr., USMC, (Ret.) 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.