By MOAA Staff
The only way to ensure continued U.S. military dominance is to realize our servicemembers “are our No. 1 weapon system,” Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), president and CEO of MOAA, wrote in a recent opinion piece published by The Hill.
The piece stresses the importance of rewarding servicemembers for their performance – not just at the bare minimum as part of efforts to shrink budget figures, but in a way that recognizes their talents and encourages others to join their ranks.
Otherwise, the continued erosion of benefits will have “strategic consequences that I don’t believe our nation is in a position to accept,” Atkins wrote.
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The piece cites another discouraging trend known as a “pay-for” approach to expanding and improving military and veteran benefits – one that forces one set of beneficiaries to cover the costs of providing improved services to others. Among the examples: Paying to expand long-delayed coverage of so-called “Blue Water Navy” Vietnam veterans to include conditions related to toxic exposure by raising VA home loan processing fees.
This method of “robbing one group to support another” only serves to dilute the benefit pool, Atkins wrote.
Read the full piece, which includes an overview of some successful efforts by MOAA to thwart plans at reducing military and veterans benefits, at this link.