The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Press Release: Rep. Bob Herron
Herron Urges Obama Administration to Restore ATG Service
|Bethel Rep.'s Letter Echoes Call for Change in DoD Stance on 24 Pensions|
Posted: September 30, 2009
(Bethel) - Representative Bob Herron, D-Bethel sent a letter yesterday to President Barack Obama urging his administration to drop its current policy statement in the pending defense spending bill before Congress and support reinstatement of pension benefits to the 24 surviving Alaska Territorial Guard veterans.
"I write to share my deep disappointment in your Administration's public disapproval of restoring full pension benefits," Herron's letter begins, and then recounts the guard's formation and service.
The Administration's Statement of Policy for the reinstatement of the benefits in the 2010 defense spending bill before Congress says they do not support the effort because state service should not be included in federal service accrual, which would set a precedent. Herron believes the federal government should honor their service, as 24 of the 300 surviving guardsmen have long records of military service.
"Now they are our elders, most between 85 and 90 years old. Many of them need these hard-earned pensions," Herron writes. "You have spoken many times about treating our brave men and women in uniform today with respect, and providing them the support they need to resume healthy and productive civilian lives here at home. Do their predecessors deserve any less?"