Men line up in Chicago in 1950, for physical exams after the military draft was renewed.

VFW: Benefits cuts could force return of draft

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Feb 23, 2012 16:36:34 EST

“The nation’s largest organization for combat veterans said the Obama administration’s plans to cut military pay and benefits could force the return of a military draft.

“In a statement that ratchets up the rhetoric over proposed pay-raise caps, higher out-of-pocket medical and prescription drug costs and reform of military retired pay, the national commander of the 2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars said “messing with military pay and benefits is a clear signal to the troops and their families that the budget is more important than people.”

“That is going to seriously hurt recruiting and retention, and potentially end the all-volunteer force, because nobody wants to work for an ungrateful employer in a vocation as inherently dangerous as ours,” said VFW leader Richard DeNoyer, a Vietnam combat veteran and retired Marine.

“The Defense Department and White House have targeted military personnel programs as an area ripe for cuts because of how much they have grown over the last decade, due to efforts to improve basic pay and housing allowances and an expansion of health care benefits, especially for Medicare-eligible retirees.

“Senior officials have tried to downplay the cuts, saying that current service members and their families would be largely exempt, although that is not completely true. The Pentagon is planning to limit military pay raises to 0.5 percent in 2015; there will be prescription drug fee increases as early as next year for active-duty and retiree families; anyone who retires from the military would face higher out-of-pocket costs for health care; and the force will shrink by more than 100,000 service members, DeNoyer said.

“Any proposal that negatively impacts any quality-of-life program must be defeated,” DeNoyer said.

“Other military and veterans groups have complained about the proposed cuts, but they have not gone as far as the VFW in claiming these initiatives could spell the end of the all-volunteer force that replaced the Vietnam-era draft in 1973.” READ MORE

I’m not sure re-initiating the draft would be such a horrible thing given the economy as it is and the culture itself. It might even things out a little bit, give opportunity to grow up and learn discipline and glean a little maturity along the way for our young men and women. Might help get some off the unemployed lists and teach them a marketable skill? Just sayin …

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