I am sure you all are getting plenty of emails and phone calls regarding the budget and I would just like to add to the disappointment Americans have but most importantly the disappointment the Veterans of the country have and I want to know how you will help us if you all cant get your crap together.
I served 10 1/2 years on Active Duty as an Air Force Medic and during that time I did two tours to Iraq. After my 2nd tour I elected to finish my commitment on Active duty and pursue finishing my education in Nursing so I can come back and help our troops even more. I left active duty and joined the reserves( which I have been serving for the past two years), so I can still continue to serve my country.
While I was deployed I , like many other service members, had to leave my child for 8 months and I did it without complaint. Matter of fact I volunteered to deploy. As a single mother it was hard but it was necessary. I left Active duty ASSUMING that the benefits I have earned would be there for me. As a full time nursing student and a single mom, getting a job is nearly impossible, unless I sleep 12 hrs a week and never see my son.
I LIVE off my post 9-11 GI bill benefits and my reserve pay. I budget wisely and my bills are paid on time, with very little left for anything else. But that is the sacrifice I chose to make, just like I CHOSE to serve this country.
I have rent that is due on the 1st of every month. That is $1100. I have a car payment due on the first of every month which is $400. I dont have cable, but I do have lights and water I have to pay. I also have car insurance and health insurance that needs to paid every month. Not to mention the ungodly amount I spend in gas money.
Now if I go without my housing allowance, I will not be able to pay my bills? Is that ok? Will I be forgiven? WIll you all tell my landlord, the water company, the electric company, my insurances companies that I will be given a pass? Since it is not my lack of budgeting or frivolous spending that got me into this situation but rather the government's inability to compromise or budget appropriately. Will you all tell them to please give me immunity from paying my bills until this gets fixed? Oh wait, that is not how the REAL world works. That is not how the everyday American can go about things.
I want to know what you will do for me? I want to know what you, the elected officials of congress will do for the hundreds of thousands of vets who DEPEND on their VA benefits to LIVE but wont receive their checks? What will you do for those disabled vets who cannot work? What will you do for those of us trying to get a better education because our skills, well great, do not transfer over to the civilian world? Will you help me find a job that I have no experience in? Because all I know how to do is take care of people. However, I can't even do that because I would have to spend money to get certified in the civilian sector in something I have been doing for over 12 years.
Can congress please stop acting liking a bunch of 14 year old girls fighting over who likes who? Can you do us veterans a solid and get your shit together? We did you all a solid by VOLUNTEERING to protect you and the rest of America. All we ask for is our benefits to please not be stopped!
Remember we have families who depend on us, we have bills that need to be paid. We deserve the benefits we have earned and we deserve not to have them stopped!
Melinda Grisby, TSgt. USAF-R