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Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel Holds Hearing on Compensation for Disabled Veterans

Location: Washington, DC


    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just have one general question really for all three of you. You've head the Department of Defense's rationale for why they're opposed to this. I don't need to go into the various reasons, there's four or five reasons they're opposed to it. I'd just like to hear your comments on why you think -- I hate to say why you think the Department of Defense is wrong, but why you disagree with the Department of Defense and why you think we should pass the concurrent receipt?


    Sir, I think that cause you can discuss a lot of details and compare a lot of things, but it boils down to are you comparing apples and oranges? And we believe military service is fundamentally different from civil service, the civilian service, that when you earn your retired pay, you have earned your retired pay. And you haven't earned it any less if you happen to become disabled, that whatever compensation we provide for a disability on top of retirement should be paid on top of the retirement. And most of the other issues are rationales for we don't want to pay for it.


    As Secretary Abell said, we do agree to disagree on this issue. But, from our standpoints, it's simply the right thing to do.


    I don't have much more to add to that. The class thing is just -- the costs have been paid already, you know, they're paying for their own disability compensation. I can't see a cost part -- it is going to cost. And the longer it's put off, the more expensive it's going to cost too probably. Although, we're losing disabled retirees too at a tremendous rate. World War II vets, Korea vets alone and a lot of the older 1500 or so a day, you know, give or take, that's a lot of people.


    Yes, I agree with you.


    So, that's one way the problem will go away. It ain't the right way to take care of it though.


    Well, I just want you all to know that I agree with the three of you and as much respect as I have for the DOD and all the great things they do. And, you know, we work with them everyday in this committee and we're proud of what they do, not just right now, but all the time. But, I agree with you all on this and want to try to help you.

    Mr. Chairman?

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