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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Veteran Affairs | November 2009 

Are Veterans Lives Worth Less?
email this pageprint this pageemail usDavid Lord - PVNN

We give millions to those that died as victims of terror and pay nearly nothing to those that died as a result of actively fighting terror.
I have a lot of time serving Veterans and their families both in Mexico and via the Internet in America, impart helping widows and dependant children of veterans to learn about benefits because of low income. Others I teach about a monthly allowance (D.I.C.) paid for the loss of life of a Veteran, K.I.A. or as a result of service amounting to $833 per month.

Others such as disabled veterans, are given Compensation, the monthly amount is dependant on a disability rating given by the V.A. after military service. If pension does apply, I tell the widows if their total income from all sources is under $8000 dollars per year, an amount which is less than one third the poverty level established for welfare programs.

Congress has allowed them a pension when they meet all the federal guidelines, in stated debate for the laws passage, "NO surviving dependants of a United States Veteran should be forced to live in poverty." Many welfare programs pay more money to citizens with no military service or those non-citizen aliens who are foreign nationals, than a widow of a veteran on low income pension.

Someone I find very controversial on many topics, Rush Limbaugh, made recent comments pointing to this disparity of compensation paid to 9/11 victims and families of veterans.

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11.

Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.

If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.

Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers. (Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding officers.)

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.

You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense?

However, our own US Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month. And most are now equal to being millionaires plus. They do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system.

If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed them in harm's way receives a pension of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.


The U.S. Veteran has to know that their families will be cared for if they die in battle. We spend billions for medical care and yet for the ultimate sacrifice we pass the death over without just compensation for those that paid the ultimate price. We give millions to those that died as victims of terror and pay nearly nothing to those that died as a result of actively fighting terror. Life is precious and it is not about the money left behind, but it should be fair for all concerned.
David Lord is a V.A. accredited Veterans Service Officer living full time as a resident of Mexico. David is retired from U.S.M.C. for a gunshot wound, his unit received the Presidential Unit Citation at Khe Sanh Combat Base. He was a rifleman with the 1/26th, 5th Marine Division in 1968 during the 77 day Siege at Khe Sahn, then awarded The Purple Heart for a gunshot wound in Quang Tri Province. For more information, email him at david.lord(at)yahoo.com.

Click HERE for more Veteran Affairs with David Lord



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