12/16/2013 05:01 pm ET Updated Feb 15, 2014


Dear Congressional Member,

You've asked a lot of us. You've asked for 12 years of war. You've asked for 5,000 of our lives. You've asked for 50,000 of us to deal with Traumatic Brain Injury. You've asked for 250,000 of us to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You've asked for over 2 million of us to deploy.

We've spent 12 years -- two presidential elections, scores of congressional elections -- honoring our promise to you.

We've protection this nation, and others under our charge, against all enemies--foreign and domestic. We've served when we had nothing left to give, and we've done so willingly.


Because you gave us all both your collective word, and your individual word: You. Will. Safeguard. Our. Benefits.

We've kept our questions to a minimum. We've kept most of our thoughts to ourselves. Why? Because of assurances you've each made through over a decade of changing military leadership and nearly a handful of defense secretaries. We seemingly had nothing to fear. Our elected leaders would protect us, they would guard (although not with their lives) the promises made to us, the handshake deals, the professed words of those looking out for us at the federal level. It doesn't matter whether you agree with or support the benefits we've been promised. The fact remains that we WERE promised them, and each made career choices based upon them. We were guaranteed, in writing and verbally, that we would be protected by grandfathering those currently serving into the terms under which we agreed to serve.

Until now.

Enough. And, I don't mean we're upset. I mean we are raging, pissed off, you don't know who you're dealing with now, pissed. You've targeted our healthcare, you've targeted our commissaries, our child centers, our programs... and now? Now, you have the audacity to come after our retirees' pay.

This pay is part of the deal you SIGNED with each of us promising if we agreed to serve this nation for 20 years, you'd agree to help us live out the rest of our lives. The deal where we knew it may cost us our lives, but were willing to sign because we believe in this nation and all that it stands for.

Retroactively going back to now cut our pay because you cannot control your own spending is both borderline criminal and completely void of any moral fiber. These retirees -- over 600,000 -- already paid their dues. They've served in Iraq and Afghanistan and quietly retired making life choices based on their agreement with you. And, now? You want to add every future "working-age" retiree henceforth.

What in the heck is WRONG with you?

"Working age?" What about those who can no longer work? What about those who have now been out of the traditional workforce for years counting on their promised retirement? What about those of us who STAYED IN when YOU asked us to and gave up far more lucrative careers to do your bidding? What about those of us who are so permanently damaged that functioning outside the military is no longer possible? What about the seniority and equity we've all lost in the private sector because WE were there for YOU when you needed us?

Well, you know what? We need YOU now. Like, right now. You need to put everything else on hold, forget the extra coffee break, the extra phone calls and get your collective bodies to the Senate to FIGHT for us, this time. We need YOU to pick up your proverbial weapons, your flak jacket and your canteen and defend U.S. against those who would vote otherwise.

We need you to do the right thing and honor your word. For once, do what is right because it IS the right thing to do and you have nothing personal to gain. Forget political suicide; think about the fact that two veterans have committed suicide since you started reading this.