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Legion: Pay the troops, without delay

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Legion: Pay the troops, without delay

With a shutdown of the federal government imminent, The American Legion wants Congress and the White House to ensure that all active-duty servicemembers will receive their full paychecks – uninterrupted and without delays.

“We know that Secretary Gates has promised our troops that they’ll keep getting paid if the government shuts down, but receiving it in the form of back pay is not good enough,” American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster said. “The troops are either engaged in combat or supporting those who are. They don’t need to deal with this uncertainty.

“Thousands of our servicemembers and military families stand to suffer if they are shortchanged on their income for even one week. That could make the difference between paying a credit card bill on time or not. And who will pay the late fees? Who will repair their damaged credit? We don’t think our elected leaders should allow it to go that far.”

Earlier today, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told troops in Baghdad they would continue to be paid if the government shut down, but the money would be withheld from their paychecks. “If the government shutdown starts on the 8th and goes for a week, you’d get half a check,” Gates said.

The American Legion is also calling on creditors and businesses to help all servicemembers who do experience pay problems because of the shutdown.

“We think the patriotic thing to do in wartime is to give our men and women in uniform a break on paying their bills,” Foster said. “Extend their payment due dates. Don’t foreclose on their homes. These are the people who risk their lives to defend America, whether its government is working or not. More importantly, it shouldn’t come to that. Congress should address this issue before it becomes a problem for our servicemembers, and that is what The American Legion is requesting.”

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johnboat001

April 11, 2011 - 2:43am

How long must the government workers and military have to suffer from the vagaries of petty simpletons that have nothing but time to play political games now that our country is involved in 2 wars, and are also representing us in NATO attacks on Gadhafi's oppresive regime! How many will be involved in these conflicts that Congress thinks nothing about?! How many of the military families suffer while their we are in combat? Disgraceful!! These petty politicians need to be fired from "their" jobs, as soon as we have our elections!! All of these people need to be made to remember what pain they have inflicted on so many people with their poorly timed and thoughtless political games. The American People do not care about small expenditures argued about now!! We want our troops and our government paid!! When election time comes, remember how these people played with the lives of our troops and their families! Vote them out of their jobs! We should remember these Congressmen!!

1 shot one kill

April 9, 2011 - 6:30pm

In my time we serviced, pay or not. The bullets still fly,and people still die.But it's still wrong not to pay them,they may have dependants who count on them.I'm confused,life liberty honor justice americanism, where did it all go? Times change not always for the betterof our country.Time for some new blood in office,VOTE,thats what we all fought for--CHOICE. I'm disabled now, arm chair warrior, but never discount the past,cause history always repets it self. Learn from it or suffer for it.

buzzardfriends

April 9, 2011 - 4:58pm

Our service men and women belong to the government and the government can do anything with them they please. they r no longer considered as "people".

creedinsd

April 11, 2011 - 1:10am

We work for the government to protect the rights of fools that say foolish comments such as your own. Our families do not however, and the strain it puts on them is selfish and inappropriate for POTUS to use for his own political machinations.

Paul123

April 8, 2011 - 7:42pm

First, there are hundred of soilders that are on the battle field as I type this, my son being one of them. He did not volunteer to go to fight and as he is fighting for our country stateside and oversea. He's being told that is not going to get a pay check. I think it is another to send these soilders of to battle, but to then tell them they are working for our freedom for free. If you want to balance a budget do want starting the trillion of dollars in cost in the first pay, the wars. Bring them all home and let other country that care of themselves. Thank you for your support.

Terry0124

April 8, 2011 - 6:09pm

The Military is not a political organization. Servicemen sign a Contract with the government. They honor their contracts, the government should honor theirs. Please do not use the Troops as political pawns. PAY THEM!

blusmith2000

April 8, 2011 - 5:40pm

Question. If they don't get paid, Can't they quit and go home ? I THINK, the American Legion, should be waiting with a BIG Class Action Lawsuit for Breach of Contract, on behalf of our brother and sisters.

blusmith2000

April 8, 2011 - 5:34pm

If they don't get paid... Doesn't that mean they can quit and go home ? Sound like The American Legion should be really with a Really Big "Breach of Contact" Class Action Lawsuit on be half of our brothers and sisters.

Bernard J Agriesti

April 8, 2011 - 2:48pm

If the Republicans shut down the government, we should replace them at election time. Earmarks were never approved by the people. They are a method of buying votes for bad legislation with our money. Congress is paid a high wage without corruption to get a vote. We pay you to vote for what is best for the American PEOPLE. No more earmarks or we will vote a complete new slate for congress. The bridge to nowhere is garbage. As I understand there are communities that have to wait for a ferry to go to the airport or drive many miles in Winter to get to the airport. A misuse of our money that caused a quick exit from office.

GinoH

April 8, 2011 - 12:38pm

The last time the Government shutdown the on-base banks and credit unions continued to deposit pay into members accounts if the members were on direct deposit, knowing they would get the money back. These pay advances were interest free. I'm guessing the The Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) are on top of this like they were in the mid - 90s and are probably offering the same thing. Military personnel should contact their financial institutions or check their websites.

James Hudson

April 8, 2011 - 12:01pm

First and foremost we as Americans have voted these people into office and have allowed things like : Congress members recieving insurance benefits for life and rediculous pay scale (That they get to vote their own pay raises even if the do a POOR job) Regardles of your political view there is something wrong, when we allow year after year of political bickering that harm any of the people of our country that WORK or SERVE. If you perform poorly and you get fired you have no permanent pay check; they do. The government is trying to run like a company...The top people (who do very little in the way of WORK) get the big pay the workers get the poor pay with no guarantee after they leave the job. As one of the previous people said IF NEED BE "Fire them ALL".

johnboat001

April 8, 2011 - 10:31am

Next Election all the Vets that are inactive now should band together to do what is necessary, and take action to not reelect members of Congress that do not take action to continue Government Service and get all the government paid, including most especially our Veterans overseas. I know how much this means to families of veterans, since I was once one of them in my youth. I know first hand the hardships that were imposed on us by inept financial glitches in serviceman's pay. So, now, the Congress, with it's time to play politics, sees fit to add to the burden these folks have to bear with their political gamesmenship!! Fire all of them, next 2012 elections and of course, Congressmen should take head when they all find themselves out of a job, with united action of all Vets and Government employees that can not protest this action themselves, but, must endure the issues that ensue for them without complaint. For us who have a voice now, let's speak very clearly to Congress!

IHCJIMBO

April 8, 2011 - 10:05am

Keep pushing the congressional members to see to it that all members of the military are paid on a timely basis. There is no excuse for these 535 people in Washington to do this to our military personnel and their families. God Bless Our Troops.

kslowpoke

April 8, 2011 - 9:27am

If Congress cannot act like grownups instead of children then lets FIRE the lot of them, NO medical, retirement, or any other benefits. They should have to pay just like the rest of us folks. NO BUDGET BY NOON EASTERN TIME, THEN NO JOB BY 1 PM EASTERN TIME. I am retired vetman vet and still have to work to make ends meet, which is not happening because our so-called leaders are inept. I will REMEMBER this come 2012 vote!!!!!!!!!!

mad.pincher

April 8, 2011 - 9:10am

While I completely agree that the military should be paid promptly (meaning without delay), and while I have my own opinions about precisely who is deluding themselves into forcing this budget delay, I would like to discuss another issue. Why, oh why is it the position of the American Legion that "all <strong>active-duty</strong> servicemembers [should] receive their full paychecks – uninterrupted and without delays"? (emphasis mine) The last I checked, the American Legion had a significant portion of their membership that was former or current Reserve and National Guard servicemen. Those that are currently called to active duty would still be included under the current American Legion position, but those that are serving in a reserve capacity would not. They are also servicemen. They train with weapons, trucks and tanks while in their reserve capacity. They are entitled to their pay, and they are entitled to it uninterupted and without delay.

fufuup1

April 8, 2011 - 7:21am

I can not believe that congress is going to do this to our troops. They sit in thier fine fancey offices and get to go home to thier families every night. While our guys and girls are over there sleeping where ever they can and bullets flying over their heads. Getting wounded and even killed and their families over here struggling to hold things together . I feel we need to send congress over there and let the bullets fly over their heads and to let them come home broken or in a box and I bet they would make some quick decisions. This just makes me sick at my stomach. And the bad part about it is they are going to do what ever they want to and get away with it. it is time the american people stood up and let them now where they get their paychecks from. It is time the american people joined togetheer and let them know we are not going to take it anymore. If our tropps don't get paid neither should Congress.

Westy

April 8, 2011 - 6:51am

I don't care if the Dem or Rep are at fault. The troops are there to protect both and they NEED to get paid EVERY payday. It is bad enough that some of there love ones at home (the ones that get money from the goverment) will not get paid and this means there will be NO $$$ coming into the family. Lets get real and stop this little kid stuff. I don't care if you work you get paid. If this was a private industry they would go to jail for not paying for work completed.

Charles Carter

April 8, 2011 - 6:50am

I don't know about you folks but I am disgusted with party politics that places who is in power over the good of our country as a whole and the rift is widening between the two major parties every day. Personally, if the government shuts down, it should also mean a suspension of pay and benefits to all legislators as well. They created this mess - we didn't. There should be a non debateable default budget automatically set in place removing all pork if a budget cannot be passed on time every year. Thes folks upset me to think that their expenses, and they are overhead folks, is untouchable. If we must make sacrrifices, so should they. It is as though they operate under a different set of rules then everyone else and are immune from their own legislation. Enough already.

art_in_SF

April 8, 2011 - 1:15am

They won't let us use the word l-u-s-t. Or s-c-r-e-w. We're veterans, we've fought in WARS, we've risked our LIVES, and they won't let us use two, non-profane words? WE FOUGHT FOR THIS? This is ridiculous. What are you censors? Little old NINNIES? How pathetic.

admin

August 29, 2012 - 10:20am

Those words are probably to filter out spam on the website, censorship isn't a priority for us. Please speak your mind, but stay classy!

art_in_SF

April 8, 2011 - 1:13am

That's right, comrades. We can thank those "patriotic" Republicans, so worried about their greed and l-u-s-t for money that they don't care if they s-c-r-e-w over our service members and their families. You overlook it when they vote against your benefits. You overlook it when they close our bases. You overlook it when they vote against our interests. And yet - for SOME unknown reason, you old geezers keep kissing their butts. Can someone explain that to me? What WOULD a Republican have to do to finally make you see reality? REPUBLICANS ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS.

ace1911

April 8, 2011 - 1:52am

I assume you are aware the reason this is going on is because your beloved DEMOCRATS DIDN"T pass a budget last year!

ds1moved

April 8, 2011 - 12:54am

I totally agree that the Congress shouldn't get paid until this is settled. Give their pay to the troops. If it wasn't for the troops Congress wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedom of causing all this commotion. They need to get on the stick and start doing what they were elected to do. That is NOT collect a pay check for doing nothing!

Rev. Richard

April 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Thank you Cindy DeVaux for your comments of frustration and anger. I came home from the Korean War. My best friend Don Osborn did not. Last month I baptised my great grandaughter. Don would have been a great father and grandfather. As long as I live, I'm now 80, I will remember and honor Don. I voted for Eisenhower/Nixon but now am ashamed of the Republican idealogues who are willing to shut down our government if they can't have their way punishing the EPA for trying to limit greenhouse gases and Planned Parenthood who receive NO federal funds for abortions. The large corporations, each with over One Billion dollars in profits, don't pay any taxes. I guess that's where the unethical politians get their pay-off. They shouldn't burden our current military this way.

Robert Fisher

April 7, 2011 - 8:48pm

Since this is President Obama's decision to pay Congress and withhold the military's paychecks. Then President Obama needs to be called on the carpet for his capricious attitude towards our military (I'm proud of these men and women), and the citizens of this nation. Stop paying the Congress, Supreme Court, the White House staff, a million non-essential personnel, and immediately cut the budget by two trillion dollars. This then would be a good start to remind the politicals / breaucrats that they work for us, not the other way around.

Joe Bagocki

April 7, 2011 - 8:33pm

Its a shame that a few Republican ideologs are willing to shut down our government over abortion and the EPA. By all accounts the Right and Left only sticking points are over funding of the EPA green house gasses and Planed Parenthood. Just for the record the funding for Planed Parenthood recives NO federal money for abortions. That was stopped years ago. How is it that 12 corporations with each having over ONE B-BILLION dollor in proffits pay NO federal tax. Thats not one dime for the defence of our country. Not one dime for the men and women who are serving or have served to keep them safe. It does not get any more UN-AMERICAN than that. If the corporate welfare was cut we would have no debt problems.

Cindy DeVaux

April 7, 2011 - 7:21pm

You have 3 wars going on. If you do not pay these boys the ones overseas are going to have their mind on whether their families are doing ok and not on the job at hand. Servicemen will die. Because they are worried about their families. How do our guys get money being overseas.I was at the VA hospital today with my husband for his test, when a young man that could not have been more than 21 came in the waiting room with his Mom. He had been badly wounded overseas somewhere. His left eye was gone, schrapnel wounds were all over his face. Scars were healing in his head and on his legs. His right arm was in a burn sleeve and he had a long sleeve shirt on so you could not see the rest of his body which I am sure had scars. I would love to see a politician stand before him and tell him he was not getting paid but the politicians were getting their pay anyway.I would spit in that politicians face. You people are no better than these boys dieing for their country while you sit on your duffs.

jtown27

April 7, 2011 - 7:18pm

This is an absolute disgrace to the men and women who so selflessly put their lives on the line for meager pay so that the rest of us may live in peace and comfort. And who ever said the pen is mightier than the sword? If this were my utopia, I would have the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs declare Marshal Law for a short time, just to remind everyone just how good we have it in this country. I would then have the military put all of the CEO's from every major bank responsible for the recession up against a wall and "do the right thing". Then I would have them turn in the direction of Congress and give them this ultimatum. "You have 24 hours to get the budget passed, OR ELSE!!" Who wants to bet that they would have it done in about 6 hours? Signed-- A former paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division

tom shirey

April 7, 2011 - 6:59pm

We the people can support each other until 2012. I remember the last shutdown and it didn't last long the only people effected were the Hot Dog Vendors along the white house fence. Congress will most likely give them selves a raise after this.

Hawg

April 7, 2011 - 6:53pm

Pay them is right. agree Congress should act quickly, but what is really disappointing is Gates' comment that they'll only get half a check if Govt shuts down on the 8th. He has the authority to move funds around within DoD and could easily find a way to make them whole if Congress/WH can't get its act together and the Govt shuts down for a short period. He just "found" funds to cover Libya ops -- those weren't originally appropriated by Congress. He just took cash from several accts and with congress' ok moved them over. The money is already there. All he has to do is ask to move it from long term R&D or whatever into personnel accts; by deciding not to he is disgracing the office he holds. Must be following orders of WH.

ccharliett

April 7, 2011 - 6:30pm

Everyone of those men and women, or should I say boys and girls, need to understand that the military member of today is in the service because they choose to be. There is no draft, they are there due to their patriotism and love of this country and our ideals. To even think of not paying them is beyond belief. They risk not only their lives daily for us but their familes as well. It is beyond belief to think those representing our nation are being so difficult on this issue. Even the early settlers knew that all the horses pulling together get far more done than one or two... There is a lacking of horse sence on capital hill today. God bless all of our troops and what they do for little of nothing and some want that to be a missed payday. Stand UP America Charlie T.

rhawley

April 7, 2011 - 6:30pm

Pay the service members on time and without delay. Congress has had time to take care of this and have worn out there welcome as far as I'm concerned. Our military sons and daughters cannot and should not have to wait on their pay. Very appreciative of the posts above for backing our troops. Keep this in mind when November 2012 comes around.

JOE1

April 7, 2011 - 6:13pm

This is a crock. Our troops serve and sacrifice and this is how we repay them. I am a Vietnam vet,served two tours and got harassed getting off the plane in Oakland Calif.coming back from my first tour .After years I got over that. This however is not acceptable. We can help in some way. I am not a rich man,but I did donate to the Red Croos in my local area directing the funds go to veterans and their families for assistance. We can all do this in your local area. Please help. I also think the paychecks of congress be stopped if there is a shut down. Anyone that works for these congressman will get their paychecks stopped. They need to get off their FAT CAT ASSES and do something. Like one writer commented they had months to take care of this. Anything else I can do to help I sure will try.

GI Joe

April 7, 2011 - 6:04pm

What would are illustrious leaders do if our military personnel just laid down there weapons and came home? I think our powers that be should pick up a weapon and haul their tired ass's over there and take up where our guys left off. It was their choice to send troops where they didn't belong in the first place. I'm tired of having to fight wars that our jackass politicians and the world banks create..

markbyrn

April 7, 2011 - 6:00pm

With the exception of the Legion and this article, I'm not seeing the Vet organizations raise holy hell over this disgraceful situation. Our active duty troops are being transitioned into being unpaid serfs of the state and their families will be be suffering for it. At least the Legion has weighed in here but it's rather late in the game and I'm very disappointed in all the other vet organizations that i belong to.

Joe Bagocki

April 7, 2011 - 8:46pm

The leaders of the American Legion have in the past supported the very Republicans now willing to shut down the goverment. The Republicans who screamed how much they support the troops tried to cut military pay, did lower benifits until 3 years ago when the dems passed new benifits and pay increases for active and vets.

apalachijohn

April 7, 2011 - 5:35pm

Pay the Troops or bring them home, NOW """""

lazlady

April 7, 2011 - 5:34pm

What was our Congress so busy doing in the Fall when the federal budget was due and they were totally Democratic controlled?

Joe Bagocki

April 7, 2011 - 8:53pm

You mean when the Republicans in the Senate said we will FILIBUSTER ANY 2011 BUDGET BILL. How short our memories are.

Bidge

April 7, 2011 - 6:16pm

They were running for office.

Luthier

April 7, 2011 - 5:29pm

The Commander-in-Chief should have be out front on this ahead of everyone else, letting the troops know they will paid no matter what happens with the shutdown!

dblouder

April 7, 2011 - 4:23pm

I bet if Congress lost their paychecks first if the government shutdown, there would be no government shutdown!!!!! They would work really hard to pass a budget, right? But nothing happens to them, they who sit in comfort and ease BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICE OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN SERVING IN THE MILITARY who will not get paid! Yet, the Republican controlled House seems willing to let the shutdown occur if they don't get their own way. Why can't things be done one step at a time, working together? But no! Personal agendas have to be addressed at the expense of our military and our country as a whole. Need to remember ALL OF THIS WHEN VOTING IN 2012!!!!!

DebraButler

April 7, 2011 - 4:07pm

My son has already given 16 years of his life to service the United States. He is proud to fight for our freedom. We are safe due to our troops risking their lives for us. If you take away anyone's pay it should the President and Congress who are trying to shut our country down. You all get the big bucks and missing one pay check won't hurt you but it will hurt the servicemen and their families. Let God lead your decisions not your politics.

BigO1217

April 7, 2011 - 4:07pm

If anyone needs and should be paid on time it's the troops. THese brave young men and women deserve a lot more than having 2 Political parties fight over a budget. Whether they arrive at an agreement or not THE TROOPS GET PAID FIRST AND ON TIME. While we are at it if you look around this country you see the politicians trying to make their states a Dictatorship ie: NJ, Wis.Ari. It's time to have all vets stand up and yell real loud THIS IS NOT WHAT WE FOUGHT FOR.

deserttrekker

April 7, 2011 - 6:27pm

I have served my country proudly. I believe that our oath had a part about protecting our country from all assaults. I would ask you nicely to come to Arizona...really take a look at the border and what is happening here. We don't want a dictatorship, we want our President to protect our borders. Sadly, the media mis-portrays the realities of what is going on here. The 9-11 terrorists came into the US over the US/Mexican border. It's not "just mom & pop looking for a better life" anymore. It has evolved into something violent and sick. I am not angry with you or your opinion..I just wearily ask, please come and see the truth for yourself. It isn't pretty here in Arizona at our border...not one bit. It's easy to pass judgement on something that you only know through the media. I have been guilty of that myself. Now that I have to wear that uncomfortable shoe - I listen to the media with a doubtful eye. Thank you for your service!

oldhippie67

April 7, 2011 - 3:18pm

You are very correct about the Service men and women. They need their paychecks. How bout if congress gives up their pay and give to the GI's.

aekollmorgen

April 7, 2011 - 3:13pm

Amen - Thank you! Its more then just bill payments, part of my husband's paycheck pays our mortgage payment. Late fees on credit cards or being late on a utility payment is one thing, but having your mortgage payment bounce or empty your bank account because of this nonsense cannot happen. Thank you for always supporting all Veterans past and present and for fighting for them!

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