As a veteran, father-in-law of a retired veteran and grandfather of a current soldier, I am appalled at how President Obama held military pay hostage during the past week over the budget ("Area federal workers bracing for shutdown," April 7). Our sons, daughters, and grandchildren are fighting or stationed overseas to protect our country. They do not have the opportunity to protest this despicable act. Many are young married couples that live paycheck to paycheck, the same that I did when I was in. Not only that, but any that would have been killed, their family would not receive death benefits. To deny pay and death benefits to our brave military and families is shameless and the act of a coward.
I want you to speak out loudly for a bill that will take the military pay out of any budget quarrels. If the commander and chief does not think the members of the military are essential then you and the rest of Congress must remind him how essential they are. They just can't put down their weapons and say I'm laid off. They wouldn't, they are honorable men and women.
Remind him that his helicopter is a Marine helicopter, piloted by the military. His Air Force 1 is an Air Force military plane piloted by the military. His honor guard are all military. The planes covering Washington DC are all military. Take them all away, let him walk and stay in DC where he belongs. If he refuses to sign this bill he should be impeached for not doing his constitutional duty as the commander in chief.
I await the loud voices of our senators and representatives demanding military pay not be used as a pawn in the political battles in D.C. Thank God our military stays out of politics; keep the politics out of the military.
Jim Cain, Essex