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updated: 8/2/2011 4:49 AM

Don't use GI's as pawns in budget debate

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An open letter to the President:

As Commander in Chief, using the military as a pawn in the debt debate was despicable. How are you going to look a GI in the eye when you know that he knows you have so little regard for him and his family?

The enlisted personnel must be No. 1 in line to be paid and everything else is a far second. Commissioned officers can take their case to the Congress since they issued your commissions.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff showed an outrageous lack of courage. You might wonder if the next order you give will be obeyed. Admiral Mullen, the correct answer to the GI's question should have been, "I guarantee you will be paid or I will resign."

For you to say that "we" live from paycheck to pay check is disingenuous. If flag officers are living paycheck to paycheck I suggest they have a personal budget problem. Consider the young lieutenant on the front line who might be worried that his next order not be obeyed.

Finally, for a nation to have such little concern for their military that it allows their government to place yet another burden on the troops that they have to worry about the welfare of their families is unconscionable.

I am ashamed.

Bill McElman

Lake in the Hills