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News & Current Events Discuss Senators fight for Guardsmen's war pension at the General Forum; Senators fight for Guardsmen's war pension In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining presidential priorities for a military spending ...

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Old 09-28-2009, 02:33 PM
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Default Senators fight for Guardsmen's war pension

Senators fight for Guardsmen's war pension

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

The White House move drew swift rebuke from the state's two senators, Republican Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Mark Begich, who had together sponsored the pension fix.

The legislation honors 26 elderly Alaskans who are the few remaining survivors of a military unit that served the country with valor, Murkowski said, calling the administration's direction "deeply disappointing, bordering on insensitive."

A Senate military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate allows the former Guard members to count their service as part of active military duty, and it reinstates the pension payments.

State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to fill the pay gap until Congress made a permanent fix, but the White House said Friday it didn't think it was "appropriate to establish a precedent of treating service performed by a state employee as active duty for purposes of the computation of retired pay."

"We are talking about 26 brave, elderly Alaska Natives who served honorably for this country during World War II," Begich said in a statement. "I, frankly, find it puzzling how the administration could object to giving these men the recognition they deserve. The federal government deserted these men at the end of the war, and I hope the Congress and my colleagues in the Senate won't let that happen again."

Murkowski doesn't appreciate the apparent minimization of Alaska's Guardsmen during the war.

"The administration's justification, which is that the legislation will set the precedent of treating service as a state employee as federal service, defies logic and history," Murkowski said in a statement. "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.' "
So to recap...

The healthcare bill has a provision tucked into it that gives $10 BILLION to union pensioners, but Obama has a problem with the pensions of TWENTY-SIX guys who served their country in World War II...

Priorities...
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Senators fight for Guardsmen's war pension

Did some searching.........

Alaska Territorial Guard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map showing the locations of Alaska Territorial Guard units (with membership counts), major military bases, and evacuated Aleutian villagesThe Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) or Eskimo Scouts was a military reserve force component of the US Army, organized in 1942 in response to attacks on American soil in Hawaii and Alaska by Japan during World War II. The ATG operated until 1947. 6,368 volunteers who served without pay were enrolled from 107 communities throughout Alaska in addition to a paid staff of 21, according to an official roster[1]. The ATG brought together for the first time into a joint effort members of these ethnic groups: Aleut, Athabaskan, European American, Inupiaq, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Yupik, and most likely others. In later years, all members of some native units scored expert sharpshooter rankings[2]. Among the 27 or more women members were at least one whose riflery skills exceeded the men[3]. The ages of members at enrollment ranged from 80 years old[4] to as young as twelve[5] (both extremes occurring mostly in sparsely populated areas).

One first-hand estimate states that around 20,000 Alaskans participated, officially or otherwise, in ATG reconnaissance or support activities[6].

The ATG served at least two vital strategic purposes to the entire Allied effort during World War II:

They safeguarded the only source of the strategic metal platinum in the Western Hemisphere against Japanese attack[7].
They secured the terrain around the vital Lend-Lease air route between the United States and Russia.
In addition to official duties, ATG members are noted for actively and successfully promoting racial integration within US military forces[8][9], and racial equality within the communities they protected[10].

Several former members of the ATG were instrumental in achieving Alaska Statehood in 1959, as members of the Alaska Statehood Committee and/or delegates to the Alaska Constitutional Convention.

In 2000 all ATG members were granted US veteran status by law, finally acknowledging the contribution of these American heroes, a surprising number of whom are still living[11]. But efforts to find the surviving ATG members and assist them through the application process have been stymied by years of bureaucratic evasiveness and a generally neglectful attitude among those that have benefited most from their sacrifice
Alaska Territorial Guard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GOOGLE: History of the alaska territorial guard - Google Search
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