Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Last year Military.com members sent over a quarter of a million letters to Congress, DoD, VA and the White House. The issues this year are no less important.

In 2012 and 2013 programs for servicemembers, veterans, and their families could face the sequestration axe if Congress and the White House don’t reach an agreement on deficit reduction. Even if sequestration is avoided, the 2013 Defense Budget includes other budget cuts that could impact benefits like TRICARE enrollment fees, commissaries, and tuition assistance. In addition, pending legislation could impact survivor benefits, GI Bill, military retirement, and concurrent receipt could pass or die in congress without your input. 

Here are some of the “Hot Button” issues and pending legislation that you may want to sound off about:

The following is a partial list of the pending legislation that could impact military and veteran benefits:

  • S.3474 Protecting Students from Worthless Degrees Act
  • S.2241 GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act of 2012
  • S.2179 Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012
  • S.2116 Military and Veterans Education Protection Act
  • S.1852 Spouses of Heroes Education Act
  • S.1629 Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011
  • S.866 Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act
  • S.724 Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011
  • S.697 Military Spouse Job Continuity Act
  • S.344 and H.R.303 Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2011 – Full Concurrent Receipt
  • S.260 End Surivor Benefit Plan Offset
  • S.146 Veteran Employment Transition Act
  • H.R.4201 Servicemember Family Protection Act
  • H.R.4103 Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act
  • H.R.3612 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2011
  • H.R.1110 The Combat Act of 2011
  • H.R.1092 Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act
  • H.R.1025 Honor the Guard and Reserve Act
  • H.R.333 Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act
  • H.R.186 Extended Concurrent Receipt Eligibility
  • H.R.181 National Guardsmen and Reservists Parity for Patriots Act
  • H.R.179 Reserve Health Care Coverage
  • H.R.178 Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act
  • H.R.115 CHAMPVA Children’s Protection Act of 2011

You can also visit our Legislative Center to view a list of the current House and Senate bills which impact military and veterans benefits and programs.

Be sur to exercise your right to influence your elected officials. Click here to visit the Military Legislative Center to get started.


About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • jimmyjets

    TRICARE Reserve Payment Plans to Change, this is a tragedy. Direct removal is a joke. I know that they want to save money but they have already cut our benefits to save them money. Let us control our money and if we should run sort one month we are out for a year? That also is a terrible joke on the reservists, do it our way or no insurance for you. What a joke!

  • James b

    It Does no good to voice your concern anymore. The cuts come anyway and the groups that take our money to lobby for us get rich with our dues we pay. Why aren’t any of these cuts in the main stream Media ?? The people need to know. They need to be out raged!!!

  • roscoethehat

    agree NO VOICE if no one care what is said! No ONE cares!

  • SoaringEagle

    We gave decades of service and sacrifice for our Country. Leave out EARNED AND NEVER GIVEN benefits alone and cut DOD manpower and their high paying do nothing jobs. We just want to live out our remaining years in peace and with what we EARNED. Semper Fi

  • Frustrated

    I am reallly frustrated with the use of the 800 number that we as veterans have to call if we need assistance. Calling the 1-800-827-1000 is no use. I called several times over the last few months, and all I got was to “call back at a later date”. When you had the Call center, it was very easy to at least talk to someone. Now if you get through th e 800 number, you have to set up an appointment to talk withe someone. This new computrized answering system is totally unreal. I believe that dealing with veterans is more improtant than to hear a cumperized voice urging you as what to do with issues that you need immediate attention. Please advise!!!

    • Idmtmedic

      Contact Charles Bryant on the blogs. His help for veterans is the “gold standard” . He has helped many!! He believes we should pay more and is an active member in many organizations which extol the virtues of our sacrifices. It’s like apple pie and ice cream with beautiful rose colored glasses on a sunset day for all of us. Ahhhh wish we had so many more like him to represent us.

  • Tom

    To all retired miltary and active miltary, if you keep the current President in office, better stock up on vaseline, as he is not done breakiing more promises that our government has made to us, he just getting a good start.
    One of the above letters said God Bless America, well leave this President
    in office and you will not be aloud to say that. Think hard and long Americans

  • son of sandle

    With the elections coming up, their needs to be a semi-organized ‘push’ to influence ALL positions of legislative influence from local to the whitehouse.
    My father served 22 years with honor, but the VA has “turned their back “.
    We need to make the Congress and the President honor those who served and died for this country. And also the families of injured Vets whose lives will never be the same. The VA and Congressional members of Veteran committees should be ashamed for their dishonorable conduct.

  • richard


    I just created a petition entitled Bank Of America: Cancel the Foreclosure on Veteran Richard Barwick.

    I’m trying to collect 100 signatures, and I could really use your help.

    To read more about what I’m trying to do and to sign my petition, click here: http://www.change.org/petitions/bank-of-america-c

    It’ll just take a minute!

    Once you’re done, please ask your Veteran friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!


    • Jeff M

      You’ve got my support. I enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and put in for active to no avail. It’s unfortunate that a reservist doesn’t have the power to activate themselves. We train at the same levels and give the government our blank check for 6+ years. All we expect is to have the same rights as every other vet.

      Now as a Military Psychology councilor I donate much of my time working with post-deployed vets.
      Please let me know what I can do and keep me advised.
      Jeff M

  • Tourbillion

    In another attempt to right some of the wrongs in the VA system of Beneficiary Travel Reimbursement, I have just completed signing-off on 535 personal letters to each member of our federal Congress.

    My letter addresses the ludicrous “deductible” attached to VA patients’ travel reimbursement claims; periodic increases in the VA’s reimbursement rate to keep pace with GSA increases occasioned by COLA increases; and changing the method of payment to VA recipients from mandatory use of Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) to making EFT an option rather than a mandate!

    Since there is a disabled veteran living in the Districts of each and every Congressperson or Senator, I have tried to bring home the message that current rules regarding the above issues are seriously unfair to disabled veterans (especially those who are categorized by the VA to be permanantly disabled). I have requested that bills correcting these inequities be written for this years session of Congress and quickly passed into law. HoooYaah! Tourbillion.