Another veteran protest coming to Washington DC this week

The military coalition which represents millions of servicemen, will be in Washington on Tuesday to call for the end to the shutdown. Photo: shutdown protest/ AP

WASHINGTON, October 14, 2013 — Less than 24 hours after one group of veteran’s marched on Washington D.C. to protest the effect the federal government shutdown has had on them in terms of war memorials being closed, another group of retired military personnel is preparing for their arrival on the nation’s capital.

The military coalition rally to end the government shutdown is scheduled to take place on Tuesday October 15, 2013 from 9:45 a.m. until 11 a.m., originating at the National World War II memorial.


SEE RELATED: UPDATED: “Million” vets are in DC to demand their monuments be opened


The military coalition (TMC) is made up of 33 organizations representing over 5.5 million members which work to protect and represent the interests of their military members. Some of the organizations that make up the coalition are AMVETS, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Wounded Warrior Project and Iraq and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Military Coalition believes that there is strength in numbers and by working as a united front, their organization has been able to preserve earned military benefits, but now this organization sees veterans not getting their due.

TMC would like to tell Washington to stop putting this country’s servicemen in the middle of their political games.

Since the shutdown began on October 1, five American servicemen were killed in action in Afghanistan but their families did not receive the death benefits from the Pentagon. A private organization, The Fisher House, stepped in to provide the funds to the families.


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National Guard drills have been cancelled in many states, affecting readiness as well as their pay and veterans who receive disability and GI Bill benefits as well as family members who receive survivor benefits do not know if they will get their next check.

The Department of Veteran Affairs is seeing the backlog of disability claims continuing to grow. A third of the Veteran Benefit Administration has been furloughed thus far, and if the shutdown continues a few more weeks into the end of October, most of the remaining employees at the VA will be furloughed bringing the claims processing to a stop.

Bills funding some of the most unpopular parts of the government shutdown including Veteran Affairs have not received enough votes to pass with the Democrats remaining mostly united arguing against GOP “cherry picking” government funding.

The Military Coalition Unites to End the Government Shutdown is using Eventbrite.com to notify people of the event this Tuesday. Eventbrite does not display the numbers who have committed to attend.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, part of the Military Coalition, has set up a Facebook event page in an attempt to get information on the protest to a wider audience. They also have a petition set up on change.org directed to the elected officials in Washington demanding that the government shutdown end.

There is frustration and uncertainty among the military community.

On Sunday, thousands of protestors converged on the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. to vent their frustration over the government shutdown closing down the war memorials.

There were times during Sunday’s protest when the irritation with the federal government was blatantly clear, such as when barriers blocking off the war memorials were carried to the White House and the protest continued along the fence of the White House.

The U.S. park service reported that there was at least one arrest at the protest but no additional details were available.

Veterans and their survivors are not wealthy. They receive benefits to compensate for the lower income that they receive. They have already had to deal with empty shelves at the commissaries and post exchanges as a direct result of the shutdown. The availability of medical care has been reduced as well.

Any reduction in pay will be devastating to many of the veterans who are already struggling with the other reductions they are facing.

The Military Coalition is hoping for a display on Tuesday morning that will get the attention of the lawmakers and send a clear message, veterans need the shutdown to end now.

Anyone is welcome to join the Military Coalition in their protest on Tuesday as well as sign the online petition in a show of support.

 

 

 

 

 


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Susan L Ruth

Susan L. Ruth is a long-time Washington, DC resident with extensive ties throughout the community.  She is a genealogical researcher and writer, and is an active volunteer in the Northern Virginia competitive swimming community.  Susan previously worked providing life-skills to head injured adults. 

Susan and her husband Kerry currently live in Northern Virginia with their three sons, Ryley, Casey and Jack and their American Bulldog, Leila.

 

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