Veterans bracing for possible benefits reduction
Ryan-Murray budget deal could mean pension, COLA cuts
SAN ANTONIO – Veterans in Bexar County and surrounding areas may soon feel the money crunch if budget cuts go into effect.
Under the Ryan-Murray budget deal, military retirees with 20-plus years of service will have their pensions cut. Also, those who were medically retired from the military would face huge cuts to their annual cost of living allowances.
Military retirees under the age of 62 would receive 1 percentage point less in their annual cost of living adjustment or COLA.
Hector Villarreal, a Vietnam veteran and chairman of the Coalition For Veterans and Families, is upset the federal government is once again considering cutting veteran benefits.
"We didn't go to war for the Democrats or the Republicans, we went to war for our country," Villarreal said.
There are about 255,000 veterans in the San Antono area, and most live on a fixed income. Bobby Ehrig, a local veteran advocate said things are difficult enough already.
"They kind of accept it and move on with their lives and hope they can afford it," said Bobby Ehrig, a local veteran.
"Even though we think it, we may not say it, because I'm a soldier and I can suck it up, and it's just not fair. It's an easy way out," Villarreal said.
Villarreal and other veterans are urging residents to contact members of Congress.
There are about 2 million veterans in Texas, so the proposed budget cut would be a major shortfall for the state's economy.
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