Veterans’ health care

Published 1:10 am Sunday, July 5, 2015

I am a veteran, a retired Sergeant Major with 24 years service, almost all combat arms, brother to two veterans, father/stepfather to four veterans (two retired), and grandfather to two active duty personnel and several veterans—so I think I can speak with some authority on the subject which I wish to address.

Although I survived without any Purple Hearts from my service, I was one of the God-chosen few who did.

I think that the U.S. Government has broken faith with all of us in one manner or another. I know that it took until 1997 for the Congress to enact the legislation that provided my wife and me with the medical care which I was told I would get when I retired in 1974. During the intervening 23 years, I paid for CHAMPUS, plus co-pays which were more than CHAMPUS paid on my medical bills. This was alleviated slightly when I became eligible for Medicare.

The situation that has caused many people to campaign for the Wounded Warrior Program is a shame and a disgrace. These people fought, were wounded on active duty, and are partly having to depend upon donations from the public for care that they should rightfully receive from the government—maybe if we gave less financial and medical care to illegals we could take much better care of those who were wounded in service to our country. I realize that there are more illegals who are potential voters than there are Wounded Warriors, but that is a shameful reason to ignore the vets.

Budget cuts are beginning to show up in many places, not the least of which is our active duty hospitals. I noticed on a recent visit that maintenance had slacked off, and the hospital was not nearly as clean as it had been in the past. That hospital serves active duty personnel, as well as retirees.

Now, Congress is beginning to talk seriously about both retirees and active duty personnel having to pay part of their medical costs, even those on Tricare for Life. As a part of the solution—provide less for illegals! Politicians may buy their votes but they can’t buy their military service to our country without a draft.

If we think that Obamacare will solve this problem, think again. The premiums are too high for most people, and the deductibles are too high. It is not a solution. I grant you that the medical costs are out of sight, but that’s why people used to buy medical insurance at a price which they could afford—which is not allowed any more. I’m sure that Congress is going to make hurtful changes to Medicare, as well.

I could go on and on, but space limitations need to be considered.



Jerome D. Pearce

210 Simmons St.

Washington, N.C. 27889