Budget deal cuts military benefits, local veterans furious - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Budget deal cuts military benefits, local veterans furious

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - A budget deal that has cleared congress may deflect another government shutdown, but it may be at the expense of our nation's military retirees.

The deal reduces military retirement benefits by $6 billion over 10 years.

Navy veteran Sam Allison is one of so many who spent more than 20 years serving our country.

"In 1977 I joined the Navy."

He was deployed 7 times before he retired and settled down in Longview with his family. Now, years later he may not get all the cost of living allowance he was promised. 

"There are so many other places that the government can cut money," Allison says. Why cut from the veterans who sacrifice so much to keep our country free?"

It's all a part of a new budget deal that passed in congress Wednesday. If you're a military retiree who has served 20 plus years, and are still at a working age, under 62, your retirement benefits will be cut 1 percent. 

Right now, a master sergeant with 20 years experience makes less than $25,000 a year in retirement. This new cut in cost of living is the equivalent of giving up three years of retirement pay.

Though Allison will take a hit, he's much more worried about his fellow veterans with disabilities. 

"What really bothers me is the fact that those young men and women who lost limbs, are not going to get their cost of living allowance," he says.

It's not just veterans who are upset. Congressmen who voted against the deal are appalled too.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina said, "How far have we fallen?  Do we have no shame?"

Allison worries most about the future. He's brought to tears as he talks about his daughter, who is serving in the navy right now.

"In the future there will be no cost of living allowance once a person reaches retirement," he worries.

Even President Obama approves the budget deal, some politicians have sworn they'll fight to get veterans those benefits back. Allison hopes they'll win.

The budget deal sits on President Obama's desk, awaiting his signature. He is expected to sign it.  If he does, the military retiree cuts will kick in starting in 2015. 





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