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Be the Change while fostering foster peace so that it radiates throughout the entirety of the Middle East.
The commitment to Dream Big for Peace was adopted by many of the friends and readers of Maria Khalife’s newsletters last year. Many readers of this newspaper and fans of the local media were among those who took the vow, lived a year of peace, and offered many suggestions for creating lasting peace.
You can also join our facebook group -The Price of Freedom Petition- to stay updated on important news
Panel calls for 3-year freeze on military pay
By Chuck Vinch - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 11, 2010 12:48:54 EST
A three-year freeze on basic pay and military housing and food allowances is among 58 recommendations contained in the draft report of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was released Wednesday.
The Debt Commission, as it is informally known, said Regular Military Compensation - basic pay, basic allowance for housing, and basic allowance for subsistence, as well as the tax advantage of those two tax-free allowances - is expected to grow by $9.2 billion from 2011 to 2015.
"A three-year freeze at 2011 levels for these compensation categories would save the federal government $7.6 billion in compensation and tax expenditures," as well as another $1.6 billion in future retirement pay, for a total of $9.2 billion in savings in 2015.
Combined, the 58 recommendations would save $3.8 trillion through 2020, mainly by making cuts to Social Security and Medicare, reducing income-tax rates and eliminating tax breaks, including the mortgage-interest deduction.
But the commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, and Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, had plenty of other recommendations for savings within the Defense Department budget.
The proposed three-year freeze on military compensation is the most eye-opening military-related recommendation in the report, and it could prove politically untenable. But other defense-related recommendations pick up on ideas that have been discussed before at length, some for years.
For example, one recommendation calls for adjusting Tricare enrollment fees, co-pays and deductibles, an idea that the Pentagon has proposed - unsuccessfully - for three years running as a way to address its soaring medical budget.
The most recent Pentagon proposal called for allowing those beneficiary costs, which have not changed since Tricare was launched in the mid-1990s, to rise with inflation. The new Debt Commission recommendation would raise premiums and co-pays by smaller, unspecified amounts and would squeeze most of its cost savings from a new requirement that private-sector employers reimburse the government for the employer share of health care costs for working-age retirees who use Tricare instead of their employer-provided health plan.
"This would eliminate a subsidy by the government for what is a normal business expense, and provide the government with about $3 billion," the commission report said.
A related recommendation would require all beneficiaries to pay a "modest" enrolment fee for each of the three Tricare plans, and designate whether they are using Tricare as their primary insurer or as a supplemental policy.
"To reduce higher-than-average usage of health care by families of service members, the option would also raise co-pays for office visits from their current low levels closer to national averages," the report said.
Another recommendation would increase out-of-pocket costs for veterans in Priority Group 5 who are enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Department health care system. That category is for veterans who do not have service-connected disabilities and whose income is below a VA-defined threshold.
Those patients now pay no fees for inpatient or outpatient medical care. The commission calls for establishing co-pays for medical care provided by VA to those veterans.
The commission also suggests major changes to the Defense Department's dependents education system, and morale, welfare and recreation activities.
The report calls for consolidating the Defense Department's commissary and exchange systems, an idea that has been floating around Washington for years. The commission says consolidating the stores into one network over five years eventually would result in savings of $1.7 billion a year - if the new facilities "raised prices 5 percent on average."
"It has been suggested that some of this savings could be returned to military families in the form of a $600 [monthly] grocery allowance, which would more than offset the 5 percent increase in prices. This would leave over $800 million in savings annually," the report said. "One argument against the grocery allowance is that the exchanges would still be able to offer below-market prices for goods."
The commission also recommends shutting down the military's stateside school system, which operates mostly in the South as a legacy of the Jim Crow era, when the military was desegregated but civilian communities were not. Noting that most service members now live off base and send their children to private-sector schools, the report said it is "no longer clear why the system is still necessary, or why the Defense Department plans to spend $1.2 billion ... to rebuild these schools" from 2011 through 2015.
The report suggests increasing federal funding to public school districts that would take in additional military children if the DoD schools closed.
Other military-related recommendations in the report:
• Reduce military personnel stationed at overseas bases in Europe and Asia by one-third.
• Cut spending on facilities maintenance.
• Apply the $100 billion in overhead savings that Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to squeeze out of the defense budget to deficit reduction, rather than reinvesting it in force structure and weapons modernization, as Gates would like to do.
• Freeze federal salaries, bonuses, and other compensation for the DoD civilian workforce for three years.
• Double the number of defense contractor positions scheduled for elimination from 10 percent of current staff augmentees to 20 percent.
• Reduce procurement by 15 percent, or $20 billion.
• Eliminate the V-22 Osprey program, the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program, the Navy's Future Maritime Prepositioning Force, new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Ground Combat Vehicle, and the Joint Tactical Radio.
• Cut the planned number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in favor of more F-16s and F/A-18Es.
• Cancel the Marine Corps' F-35 program.
Under Obama's executive order last February that created the commission of 12 members of Congress and six private citizens, 14 of the 18 commissioners must agree in order to send any package to Congress for a vote in December.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who will remain the House speaker until January, have promised in writing that the Senate would vote first and, if it approves a plan, the House would vote as well.
If such a package falls short of the necessary 14 votes among commissioners, some of the recommendations could be developed piecemeal to reduce the federal deficit once the economy fully recovers.
Reacting to the report, a long time expert on military pay and benefits said the recommendations will be the start of a prolonged battle.
"I take this as a serious threat, although not necessarily an imminent threat," said Steve Strobridge of the Military Officers Association of America. "We face an era of national belt-tightening that is going to last a number of years. If they don't cut military retired pay this year, or next year, that doesn't mean they won't do it the year after. Nothing is safe."
Just three provinces in Canada do not currently recognize Remembrance Day as a holiday. All soldiers, past and present, deserve to be recognized with a day of national significance.
Our Federal Government should make Nov. 11 a National Holiday in support of our Military.
Currently, there is a lot of angst among military and ex-military circles regarding the upcoming court case of several soldiers and their actions in Afghanistan.
They have been charged with several offences regarding a raid on a village in Afghanistan.
I believe the calls for the charges to be dropped, personal attacks on military law personnel and the procedures being followed should be stopped.
It is un-Australian to not allow the soldiers a fair-go, a chance for a fair hearing and also the knowledge for all Australians and the countries in which our soldiers operate that our soldiers adhere and obey strict orders for the treatment of civilians and the rules for when they can and cannot open fire.
With the poor economy in the United States, high cost of postage, and the necessity to provide common comforts for our men and women serving in War Zones.
With over 10 million people on unemployment and many many more having taken pay cuts.
With the families and loved ones of the men and women fighting for this great country, having to supply the most basic of everyday needs (deodorant, razors, shampoo).
In the military, there are certain career choices that are limited to only men. For example, pararescue, special forces communication sergeant, special forces engineer sergeant, etc. What ever happened to womens rights?
I feel our soldiers who risk their lives everyday when in war should be entilted to a free funeral, if they are willing to fight for our country, our government should be willing to pay for it.
Over 40 years ago the Schiller Park Memorial Pool was dedicated to the residents who honorably lost their lives in the defense of their country.
Anna Montana through the recreation board she controls renamed the pool for herself, insulting the memory of our combat dead!
We want that pool back for our veterans!!
I have got together with a group of people, from facebook, wishing to express the idea of a national service program in some kind of form. Whether it be Community based program, military or both.
It would be aimed at people who leave school, and do not take up further education, or do not seek gainful employment.
There is also a link on above, on this petition page. Which will take you to the groups facebook page. All input would be greatly appreciated, on the discussion boards.
We petition the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime
Minister to construct a brand new military hospital, with
1,000 bed capacity, state of the art medical treatment
and facilities, with rehab unit, swimming pools, running
tracks etc using NHS Funds and that this hospital be
operated and used solely by the MoD.
Our brave men and women of the British Armed Forces
deserve our support and gratitude.
Thank you for signing. Please forward on to friends and
Help us organize support for any law, amendment, or court decision that makes it illegal to protest at funerals.
One cult in particular has been protesting numerous funerals, including the funerals of fallen soldiers, for the past 20 years. This cult is called the Westboro Baptist Church.
Recently, attention has been magnified on this issue due to a certain event. The WBC, doing what they usually do, was picketing at Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral, holding signs saying despicable things, like Thank God for Dead Soldiers. LCpl. Snyder's family and friends, already grieving from the loss of someone close to them, were forced to listen to protesters screaming profanities as they tried to conduct a wake.
Lance Cpl. Snyder's father, Al Snyder, proceeded to sue the WBC for emotional distress. At first, Snyder won $5,000,000 when a Jury declared he was justified in his suit, but the WBC appealed.
The WBC won its appeal, and the court ordered Al Snyder to pay $16,000 in legal fees to the cult which dishonored the memory of his fallen son.
Any true American would realize that this is a complete outrage. All the members of this group stand together in our belief that new laws should be provided federally prohibiting any group from protesting at a funeral.
The case is pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the WBC on the grounds of protected First Amendment speech, we will press for a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Depending on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in this upcoming case, expect a demonstration in a City near you.
I am a Military wife, my husband and I recently got new phones and internet through Verizon Wireless. In the Store we were told I could get the Military discount on my phones and the internet, we were told that my bill would be $180.00 a month for all three services. The next day they had added a feature to my phones and I called to see why.
I was told it was not optional and my bill would go up by $20.00 per month, but that the discount had been applied. When I got my bill the discount had not been applied, I called again and they said it could take 1-2 billing cycles. The next bill came and there was no discount, my bill was $236.00! I checked my email and found a message from Verizon stating that I had been denied because I am a spouse, that the account holder must be Military to receive the discount!
Every other organization I have been to offers the same respect and discount to Spouses as they do for Soldiers, I have military ID and I am allowed on military bases. I may not have a rank but that does not make me any less MILITARY!
2002 was the year of the Independent Inquiry into Veteran's Entitlements, and the Independent Review Committee.
The Veteran's Entitlement Act was considered to be outdated.
Wars end and and when Wars do End, left behind are the trauma formed by battle stresses often resulting in broken lives related to stress illnesses and injuries of some War veterans. What never seems to change is the courage and commitment of young Australians who volunteer to join the Australian Defence forces.
As result of serving their country, an injured War veteran is entitled to basic standards of living which include an assurance to rehabilitate and re-engage War veterans back into the workforce, but if this is not possible, there is a total responsibility by Government to enable war veterans to raise their children, to educate each child, to feed and clothe their family.
Many injured war veterans have been deprived (by injury) of that right to work to provide for themselves and their families due to their injuries, including the most unknown injury of PTSD. However it is fair to state that new treatments and new DVA managements programs have been developing since 2002.
War Veterans do receive a special rate compensation payment through becoming Totally and Permanently Incapacitated and it is called the "TPI Special Payment".
War veterans and their families also state they have been deprived of a decent lifestyle because of their commitment to this country, and they state that their injury compensation has eroded to a mere 43 per cent of the average total male weekly earnings, and this is just one example of the current shortfall in veteran compensation.
The 'Campaign for a Fair Go' commenced FIRST in 2002 with a TV commercial airing near Anzac Day.
The ‘Campaign for a Fair Go' was intended to be a continuing reminder to all Australians of the commitment of Australian fighting men and women, and the plight in which they often find themselves because of their injuries.
Currently the major issue has become the CPI Indexing of military superannuation pensions, and this GO PETITION is asking you to sign our petition to show your support.
We are sending our elite fighting men to Afghanistan to fight in the War Against Terrorism... our peacekeeping forces are in many other countries in the world... our defence forces are training to maintain ‘battle readiness' on a daily basis.
"When Australia's military service people train for war or peace-keeping, when they go into battle, or participate in dangerous exercises, they represent all Australians and the risks they take are on our behalf.
But when they are injured - their life changes forever - often it has been a burden they and their families have managed alone.
If their commitment never ends - neither should ours.
Remember their service and give them a fair go."
Help our veteran's receive just compensation from a grateful government. Sign the petition and then, email all your friends and ask them to do the same.
“we who have served will serve those who now serve our nation”
This is our ANZAC Legacy of Kokoda
---------------- UPDATE 26JUN2010 --------------------------
SOURCE: Another GOPETITION by Anonymous at
Return the Pension to the Australian Defence Force (ADF)
HIS-UPDATE (some edits) by me (following First Female Australian Prime Minister elected)
In October 1991 the Australian Federal Government axed the pension to persons serving the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force who have served 20 years or more. This was to bring Australian military Super into line with the rest of the country.
Since 1999, the ADF has endured an operational temp not seen since the Vietnam. Government Foreign policy has seen the ADF involved in worldwide conflict and peacekeeping missions on a ever increasing scale. They are working harder then ever before, with less equipment and even less people in uniform to get the job done.
The military wants their pension returned despite internal surveys stating otherwise. I call on the Australian Government to re-introduce the pension to the ADF who put their lives on the line for their country. Service people can spend 9 months or more away from families year in, year out. Doing one of the hardest jobs possible for 20 years deserves a modest pension.
Give service people an incentive to complete 20 years service, otherwise people will continue to leave early and the shortage of service personnel will continue.
If it's good enough for Politicians to get a pension after 12 years in the trenches of parliament, it's good enough for a digger in the trenches of Afghanistan. The military pension is a fraction of what the pension Australian Politicians receive.
I Propose that the military have the option to return to the DRFDB system as the MSBS system has changed significantly since its inception. We had no financial advice at the time, other than being told that it was a better system, which turned out to be false. Military superannuation is currently being reviewed, yet a pension is not on the cards. WHY?
UPDATE: The link to the petition have be sent to the Defence and shadow ministers. Lets see if there is a response. Also a letter has been written to be sent to major newspapers. We wait and see Ladies and Gentlemen.
UPDATE 2: Emailed link and a letter to the Governor General, the PM, both Defence Ministers, Daily Telegraph, SMH, Courier Mail, Herald, The Australian, TT, ACA and 4 Corners. Sincere thank you to those who have signed. Keep those sigs coming people, the more exposure the better.
UPDATE 3: So far only 4 Corners have bothered to reply, Thank you ABC.
UPDATE 4: Well it took long enough, but Defence has now blocked access to this petition from any defence PC. This co-incides with the slow down of signatures. Thanks for the emails people, but there is zero I can do.
I'll finish with a quote from our defence minister.
"JOHN FAULKNER, DEFENCE MINISTER: Our commitment to supporting the men and women of the ADF is unwavering.
I received a letter from the minister stating that there is no chance of a pension for the ADF . Basically he states that you signed on the dotted line and deal with it. They state that we were given the choice to stay with DFRDB. My reply letter included the fact that what choice? considering you changed the goal posts after people changed to MSBS. I also stated my disgust at defence banning access to the petition. If it's not an issue then why ban it?
The press isn't interested, the government isn't interested, so it's case of keep begging for a pay increase of 4% over a couple of years of course. To all the defence personnel out there, best wishes and best of luck in getting the job done as more people leave.
To you pollies out there, enjoy your pension, you've earned it with your hard work, time away from family, in the firing zone from the press gallery, low salary etc etc.
Update 12 Feb 2010: I have decided to print out all signatures and if possible comments and mail a very large documents to all previously emailed members and institutions. I have decided not to let this rest and ramp up the fight for a pension in 2010. Anybody viewing or signing this petition, I urge you to pass on the link to others and contact your local member.
We, must ALSO TRY TO call upon the Australian Government to return the 20 year pension to ADF. The military pension commenced in 1948 and was killed off in 1991.
In light of the world we live in today, the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen deserve to have their pension returned as a thank you for 20 years service in the defence of Australia.
Please sign the petition.
Every year men are killed in action for no reason. And worse still is that the government once upon a time stated that they would pull our troops out and yet we are sending more in. Why? When there are men being killed and severely wounded.
This year already 94 men have died and for no reason other that the fact that they are there and driving around in unsafe trucks and don't have the proper protection. Just pull them out like the government said they would and stop the death.
Support Our Troops
Females are just as physically and mentally fit to prepare or be commanded in a direct combat/frontline jobs in the U.S. Military.
Whilst many are sitting down doing nothing our soldiers are fighting, saving our country. We need to bring them home NOW....
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization comprised of New African/Black people whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people and promote self-determination in our communities. We aim to fulfill our purpose through various programs and initiatives we do in our communities.
It is vital that we come together to support what is just and fair. If we don't stand up in support of one another's struggles, despite of our individual efforts we will not as a community, go far. We encourage you to check out our website www.mxgm.org to find out more about the work we do.
We are campaigning in support of a sister by the name of Assata Shakur. Assata Shakur was a member of the Black Panther Party who currently has political asylum in Cuba because of her political activity while she was in the United States. Assata Shakur stands as a symbol of freedom for many people in the US and we'd like to ensure that she remains unharmed. We are appealing to the Cuban Government because we know that they have the power to keep Assata safe.
This year marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, we'd like to celebrate Cuba's historic achievement while also gaining assurance that Assata will remain unscathed. Please read over our letter and join us in solidarity!
Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is colourless, odourless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there.
Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.
Dihydrogen monoxide is the major component of acid rain. It contributes to both the “greenhouse effect” and the erosion of our natural landscape, and may cause severe burns. DHMO accelerates the corrosion and rusting of many metals, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumours of terminal cancer patients.
Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions! Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in Australia today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage all over the country.
In spite of the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used in the production of nuclear power, the manufacture of Styrofoam, and the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce still remains contaminated by this chemical. Dihydrogen monoxide is also used as a fire retardant, and as an industrial solvent and coolant. It is used in many cruel forms of animal research, and has often been taken by athletes to improve their performance. DHMO can also be used as a food additive, and is frequently found in junk food. It even has a tendency to accumulate in dairy products.
Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all municipal water supplies, and there is no filter on the market that is able to remove this hazardous substance from our drinking water. Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer! This horror MUST be stopped!
Despite strong evidence linking DHMO ingestion with cancer, the Australian Government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its supposed “importance to the economic health of the nation.” In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.
It’s not too late to put an end to the use of DHMO in Australia. By signing this petition, you can help to secure the health and safety of all Australians in the future.
Everyone was born equal but there has always been a gender split. Sexism just like racism should be abolished, but this has to start with the Government taking significant action.
Women are currently unable to join Royal Marines (General Service), Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps, Infantry or the RAF Regiment. If women can carry the same load, do the same work and pass the same tests then what is wrong with them serving with men?
The United States has employed conscription intermittently. For example, in 1863 the imposition of a draft during the Civil War touched off the New York Draft Riots. Conscription was next used after the United States entered World War I in 1917.
The first peacetime conscription came with the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. Active conscription ("the draft") ended in 1973. Currently, male U.S. citizens, if aged eighteen through twenty five, are required to register with the Selective Service System, whose mission is "to provide manpower to the armed forces in an emergency" including a "Health Care Personnel Delivery System" and "to run an Alternative Service Program for men classified as conscientious objectors during a draft."
No one has been prosecuted for violating the conscription law in the USA since 1986. Women do not register for Selective Service in the United States, but they may enlist for voluntary service.
Dustin has wanted to be a Marine his entire life. He left for bootcamp June '07, attended S.O.I. and then was placed in a unit at Camp Pendleton, California. Before leaving for his first deployment in May '08 they were given leave, as is standard, but their leave was severely shortened due to training schedules and other circumstances, he was only home for about a week.
Now while on a 6 month deployment, living on a ship, ALL he had to think about was coming home to see his family. Since returning in November he has stayed on base to save all his leave for Christmas, 23 days. Now brought up under "hazing" charges he is not being permitted to come home. His leave was already approved (on Dec 1st), his father had already bought him a plane ticket home. His fiancé's father was flying him with their family to see her grandmother for Christmas because this is probably going to be her last one. His mother (single mother) just yesterday had someone very close to her pass away.
His family needs him to come home this Christmas, but he's not being permitted to. Of course the "superior" that made this decision, after NJPing these boys, immediately left base to go spend the holidays with his family and is not taking phone calls.
If you're a disabled Veteran and money is being deducted from your social security or U.S. Veterans disabled check you need to sign this petition!
It is called: THE VETERANS CHILD SUPPORT DISABILITY ACT.
I'm a disabled Veteran and my children are all over 28 years of age and married. Believe it or not child support has the power to dip into your disability money for child support. I'm fighting for your RIGHT TO FINANCIALLY SURVIVE AS A DISABLED VETERAN!
Governments link covering why disabled vets have to pay child support:
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION SO OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN DESIGN A BILL TO STOP CHILD SUPPORT FROM ROBBING OS OF OUR ABILITY TO FINANCIALLY EXIST.
Did you know if your income is above $14,200 a year you're forced to pay for you medication at the VA? This bill will address that issue as well.
If I can get 1,000's of signatures I can approach my South Dakota elected officials to represent this critical legislation to stop child support from dipping into what little money we receive as disabled Veteran's.
You can also contact your elected officials to protest child support from taking our well deserved money away from us.
The war in Colombia began in 1948 and widespread violations of human rights have been a permanent feature of it. The UK plays a role in the conflict by providing assistance to the Colombian military. Very little detail about this assistance has been made public, though the UK is reportedly the second largest donor of military aid to Colombia after the US.
Support Human Rights - End British Military Aid to Colombia
UK military aid to Colombia is concerning for several reasons:
• The Colombian military has a very poor human rights record which has deteriorated in recent years.
• Abuses attributed to soldiers include regular murders of trade unionists and other civilians;
• There is strong evidence to suggest that elements of the Colombian military continue to collaborate with rightwing paramilitary death squads and drug traffickers;
• Impunity remains the norm in cases of human rights abuses, demonstrating a lack of will on the part of the Colombian regime to punish perpetrators;
• There are no conditions attached to UK military assistance – so even as the abuses get worse the aid continues to flow.
Whilst details of UK military assistance are for the most part secret, the Government has argued that some of it is aimed at improving the human rights record of the military and combating drugs trafficking. As Justice for Colombia’s new report ‘UK Military Aid to Colombia, Alternatives to a Flawed Policy’ shows, there is little evidence to suggest that the aid is having the desired outcome in either area.
The UK Government claims that it would review its assistance to the Colombian military should evidence come to light of human rights abuses being perpetrated by those benefiting. Yet on repeated occasions evidence has been presented, and UK policy has not altered. Indeed, the only military unit that the Government has publicly confirmed receives UK assistance, the High Mountain Battalions, has a well documented history of involvement in the torture and murder of trade unionists among other abuses.
There is widespread opposition to continuing to provide military assistance, including from more than half of the Government’s own MPs and the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee. In July 2008 the Committee described the assistance as “inappropriate” and stated that as the human rights situation in Colombia “shows little sign of improvement” the UK Government “should request the Colombian military to demonstrate measurable and verifiable human rights improvements in exchange for future assistance”.
The UK runs the risk of becoming isolated internationally on Colombia. US Democrat leaders, including Barack Obama, are increasingly raising concerns over human rights in Colombia and Democrats in the US Congress have significantly reduced US military aid as a result.
54. Peace for Iraq
Our military has been fighting in Iraq for a VERY long time. Many have lost their lives in this war and the ones who live want to see their family.
If you think about it, only about 5% is causing all of the trouble and the other 95% is happy that that our troops are there to protect them!
I want them to get rid of that 5% and make both our countries happy and content again.
Arlington National Cemetery Burial Honors (Enlisted vs. Officer)
The difference between a Full and Standard Honor Funeral is dramatic, however, unless you have worked at Arlington, you would never know the difference. In fact, the only way an Enlisted Service Member can receive a Full Honor Funeral is to be a Medal of Honor Recipient, which are usually awarded well after burial, meaning a Enlisted Medal of Honor Recipient wouldn’t receive Full Honors at time of burial.
Basically, a Full Honors at Arlington consists of a Horse Drawn Caisson transfer from Chapel to gravesite, 8 pallbearers, Army Band, 1-2 escort marching Platoons, Cannon Salutes for General Officers, “Cap Rider-less Horse(0-6 and above), firing party, bugler and a Chaplin. A Standard Honors Funeral consists of a hearse transfer, 6 pallbearers, firing party, bugler, and a Chaplin. Another misconception is that E-9’s receive Full Honors as stated in Army Regulation 600-25, however, they don’t, in addition to the Standard Honors rendered above, they get the Caisson, 1 escort marching platoon, and a drummer, which contradicts what Army Regulation 600-25 states they will receive the band.
I might add, the above Special Officer Honors rendered at Arlington, are not offered at any other National Cemetery in the United States. I feel Arlington Honors should mirror the rest of the National Cemeteries.
For the last year, I have addressed this with the President, multiple Congressman and Senators, multiple Veteran Organizations of which I am a member of, and Army Offices in Washington D.C., but have received little to no response back. The ANC Superintendent sent me a response stating that he agreed with my position, however, he believed changes would be difficult to implement. I have talked to numerous Senior Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers as well who support this and are addressing this in their own direction.
The bottom line is this, a 2nd Lieutenant can die in a car accident 2 days after graduating Officer Candidate School and get a Full Honor Funeral, while a Master Sergeant in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corp, or Navy with 22 years of Service can die in Combat in Afghanistan or Iraq, receive a Silver Star for Valor, and receive a Standard Honor Funeral. This is flat out disgraceful. In a place our Nation considers to be the most hallowed ground in America, a place that demands our respect, I think this issue deserves to be looked at. Honors rendered should be equal, based off actions, not just rank. A panel should decide official criteria for Honors rendered based off individual careers, and circumstances of death, not just by rank. I think the Funerals should be like the Tomb Stones in Arlington, all the same. At a minimum, all Active Duty Soldiers’ killed in Combat should receive a Full Honor Funeral.
Official criteria needs to be re-looked at is the bottom line, this disgraceful discrepancy has been passed over as “customs and courtesies” too long.
Anyone wishing to assist my efforts please sign this petition which I will be submitting to applicable parties in Washington D.C., so please forward this to all Veterans you know asap. The only way this will be changed is through legislation, so please contact your Representatives'.
SFC Robert Allen Durbin
I have sent a request to the owner of militarysignatures.com to begin to make signatures for ROTC/JROTC. Here is my original request as well as the next two emails.
From Me "If you don't mind, I would really appreciate it if you were to make a ROTC/JROTC section. That would really make me happy!"
That's not a bad idea. Aren't the rank different or something for ROTC? I'm not real sure..
From me: "The Ranks vary once you reach the officer ranks. And the Awards very a lot.
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those are the ranks and the awards can be found on
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These are for Air force which can also be found at http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/afjrotcribs.php
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these are for navy which can also be found at http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/njrotcribs.php
The Army JROTC awards can be found at http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/ajrotc.shtml
Most of the Marine JROTC awards can be found at http://www.vanguardmil.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=7_481_485&zenid=110a2c08b84b3de116c0682b2289d7d5
This is all I know as far as awards outside of Army JROTC.
Thanks for listening,
(This post does not include the pictures I sent with the email.)
It is obvious that he is considering my request, however I would like to show him that I am not the only one who wants this.
A petition expressing our strong opposition to the United States' policy - as advanced by the U.S. State Department - that supports the Turkish government's unchecked use of military force against Iraqi Kurdistan under the pretext of fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
This is a clear violation of Iraq's integrity and national sovereignty that is resulting in the calculated destruction of Kurdish civilian villages, bridges and other infrastructure; the displacement of thousands of innocent Kurds; and the destruction of numerous livestock. It also is a blow that threatens the democratic and economic progress that the region has worked so hard to establish following years of devastation and deprivation under Saddam Hussein's genocidal rule.
We demand that the State Department insist that Turkey immediately halt its political and military aggression against Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan and, additionally, that the State Department advocate a policy the demands recognition and respect for Iraqi's integrity and national sovereignty.
This petition is written due to the controversy concerning the U.S. Appeals Court decision Allowing Dr. Mary Hanna, a Boston-based physician to legally breach a contract to serve in the Army as a medical officer on the grounds claiming that she is a conscientious objector.
Dr. Hanna accepted fully paid medical education scholarship from the Army and in exchange for receiving that scholarship signed a contract and gave her promise to give 8 years of service to military even after being given a promise by the Army that she would only be ordered to serve on staff as a physician in a military base hospital in Texas, she still refused to report to active duty.
The military views a soldier single or married. Even though the JAG office will prepare a state mandated legal separation agreement, the military does not recognize them. This means many military members are made to support their estranged spouse for periods up to a year until they are able to file for divorce.
The spouse is allowed to date other people while the service member is not allowed to date or they risk being charged with adultery.
Army Regulation 608-99:
Family Support, Child Custody & Paternity requires soldiers to pay temporary support depending upon the family situation:
Civilian spouse/children not in military housing: BAH-II (aka "BAQ") at the with-dependents rate.
Civilian spouse/children in military housing: Difference between BAH-II at the with-dependents rate and the without-dependents rate.
Civilian spouse/children not in military housing and not living together: Pro rata share of BAH-II to each.
Military spouse with no children: No support obligation.
Military spouse with children split between parties: No support obligation.
Military spouse with all children: The difference between BAH-II at the with-dependents rate and the without-dependents rate.
In-kind payments (such as buying groceries or paying bills) do not generally count towards the support obligation, except in very rare situations. A battalion/squadron commander may relieve the soldier of the spousal support obligation only in very limited circumstances, such as the civilian spouse having a higher income, being in jail, or committing physical abuse against the soldier, or the soldier having already paid support pursuant to AR 608-99 for 18 months.
Note that the soldier must still pay the same support if the spouse has the couple's children. Finally, infidelity or abandonment do NOT constitute grounds for relief.
**This means the military members estranged spouse would have an affair, but the military member has to support them during the separation period that the state requires before filing for divorce. In some states this could be up to $11,000 if the separation period in one year.**
This regulation holds up even if you have only been married for one month. Until your divorce is final you have to support a spouse you were with for even one day and then separated from because the marriage did not work out.
The War in Iraq has been going strong for 5 years now, As of September 2007 over 27,506 Military Men and Women have been Injured in Iraq and Over 3728 have Died on the Battlefield...and Counting.
There are thousands of National Guardsmen and Women in Iraq who are trained to deal with fires much like the ones in California.
We need too get out of Iraq and deal with more important issues:
-The Darfur Conflict
Nobody else should die in that desert.