The war against our troops

Let’s look at the trend of recent decisions by this administration that hurt, not help, our troops.

U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projects:

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

They thought that naming an educational facility after Kennedy was more important than funding the battle to which our President just pledged 15,000 more troops? I had a woman call into my show two days ago to detail how her son, fighting in Afghanistan, counts his best friend as one of the fallen now after recently witnessing his death in an explosion caused by insurgents. You know how the best friend died?

HE RAN OUT OF AMMO.

Here’s the podcast of that show, dated October 9th, listen to her story yourself. Looks like this may be a reoccurring tragedy since the administration feels that giving money to the dead is more important than protecting the living and that the need for Edward Kennedy’s educational building was much more important.

It’s also more important than the recently gutted pensions of 26 elderly Alaska guard members who served as Alaska’s last hope in WWII sans pay.

Obama says ‘no’ to pensions for WW II Alaska guards:

In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining its priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration today said it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard.

The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II.

The Army decided this year to no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military’s 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January.

An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn’t count.

[…]

“Sixty-two years after the Territorial Guard was disbanded, the Obama administration minimizes the contribution of this gallant unit to America’s success in World War II by calling its service ‘state service.’ “

From ABC News via Keyboard Militia:

The change means 26 surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard — most in their 80s and long retired — will lose as much as $557 in monthly retirement pay, a state veterans officer said Thursday. The payments end Feb. 1.

The yearly cost of such payments is $173,784, which, for five years, totals $868,920, less than the hefy million-dollar-plus pricetag it cost taxpayers to fly President Obama to Copenhagen to bid for his Chicago to win the Olympics:

Taxpayers shelled out probably $1 million or more for the president, his wife and others to fly to Copenhagen and back to woo members of the International Olympic Committee.

A 2006 congressional study pegged the cost of flying Air Force One at $56,518 an hour. The Pentagon recently said it cost $100,219 an hour to fly the huge, reconfigured Boeing 747 without Obama aboard. The Pentagon estimate included more costs for support needs, such as maintenance.

At those rates, the president’s 14-hour trip to Copenhagen and back cost about $790,000 to $1.4 million.

Going to Copenhagen was higher on the list of our President’s priorities than those Alaskan Guards. Also higher on the list: buying organic kale! From the Washington Post:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. “Now it’s time to buy some food,” she told several hundred people who came to watch. “Let’s shop!”

This cost taxpayers a pretty penny. I’m still searching for a cost breakdown.

All of this ranks higher than reimbursing our soldiers with their GI Bill checks, too. Thousands of veterans did not receive their checks from the GI Bill for their educational costs as promised:

Although many universities are deferring tuition payments, the delays have forced students to take out loans, rack up credit card debt and consider dropping out of school in order to meet living expenses, according to veterans and groups that advocate on their behalf.

Unreal. Our soldiers, fresh off from duty, were forced to rack up debt because the government failed to meet its promises to these men and women. It was finally forced to divert some “emergency funds.”

Thousands of veterans who returned to school this semester under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and have yet to receive tuition, housing and textbook payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs will each be eligible for $3,000 in emergency aid, agency officials announced Friday.

Going to Norway to accept his Nobel Peace Prize will cost taxpayers over a million and Obama gets to bring home a million-dollar-plus prize check (which he’s prohibited by law from accepting, just as any president is, so it’s mandatory that he donate it to charity). He could donate that money to those Alaskan Guards and they would be set for years to come; he could also donate it to be used towards funding the GI Bill, the money from which has seemingly disappeared, like it usually does when people with no concept of other people’s money run the government.

It would be a nice gesture considering the unfortunate events that this congress and administration has forced our troops to endure.