Military retirees say new budget deal breaks the ultimate promis - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

FORT HOOD

Military retirees say new budget deal breaks the ultimate promise

FORT HOOD, TX (KXXV) - The recently passed bipartisan budget deal is causing chaos amongst military retirees.

Once a person serves 20 years, they are promised retirement benefits including a 1% Cost of Living adjustment.

Under the new budget deal, COLAs are cut for working age retirees, for a medically or 100% disabled military retiree, that money goes a long way.

News Channel 25's Markeya Thomas spoke with local veterans, and they say they feel betrayed by Congress.

Dave Washko, a disabled veteran who lost his leg while serving, says troops hold up their end of the bargain, so Congress needs to hold up theirs.

"That is a broken promise," he explains. "I think it's another shaft by Congress. All those people sitting up there, how about they go serve time in a combat zone, I think they'll change their attitudes."

Retirees say congress always cuts vet benefits when there is a budget issue, and enough is enough.

"A contract is a contract, a promise is a promise. If you have a contract, you must honor it. You can't break it because of politics,” said Kevin Campion, who served twenty years in the Army.

But it's not only local retiree's that are letting their voices be heard.

A recent Facebook post written to Paul Ryan, who sent an automated email asking for cash donations, has gone viral.

Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Chuck Wooten wrote,

"Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your bipartisan budget just impacted." He goes on to say, “You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty every single day, without fail, without complaint."

The bi-partisan deal passed by congress agrees to trim pension increases for working age military retirees, but those retirees believe Congress should cut their own pensions before touching theirs.

"If they want to cut benefits, cut Congress benefits. They're not even working," said Washko.

Congress has agreed to give working age disabled and medically retired veterans their COLAs once they return to Washington.
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