Military Special Needs Network

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Stirring the Hornet’s Nest

army_soldiersIt seems like yesterday when my husband told me that Mike and Carlos Boettcher, famous father/son correspondents for ABCNews, were embedded with their unit in Afghanistan. These national reporters were there to tell the stories of what was happening on the front lines. They quickly earned the trust of the troops and cared deeply about the soldiers, while supporting and following them into combat. A documentary called “The Hornet’s Nest” was created from this experience.

Recently, I viewed the trailer to the film. Excited, I clicked the link, but stopped within seconds of playing as my heart raced and hands shook. My husband has been on three combat tours. I have lost friends in the war. My friends have lost their husbands. I have heard neighbors, friends, and others talk about combat. As I watched “The Hornet’s Nest” trailer, the emotion and anxiety came rushing back. Terrified as I watched, I wondered what the hell my husband had gone through during his three tours. Does he relive scenes like this in his nightmares?

TWELVE YEARS of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. 8,500 more troops going on the next rotation from Fort Bragg and Fort Hood. More and more and more soldiers deploying, families separated, and children waving their goodbyes, all while the threat of injuries and death looms in the shadows. Soldiers whose patriotism and love of country fuels them to run towards danger with the promise that when it’s time to hang up the uniform, retirement will help them through.

Last Thursday came the news of the House-passed Ryan-Murray Budget Deal that reduces cost-of-living allowances (COLA) for retirees. Another sacrifice being asked of our service members. A slap in the face and a broken promise for our active duty and retirees. Those who cannot sue, cannot quit without penalty, and are to do as they are told.

“The Hornet’s Nest” was created to show the pain that solders endure. The mental and physical exhaustion that accompanies them daily, testing their stamina and their will to keep up the fight. The film pays tribute to our soldiers at work, protecting our freedom, and the freedom of our elected officials that have chosen to reduce pensions that were promised to them. While Congress demands more troops are sent to hazardous zones, our elected officials sit in shady back rooms, creating deals to cut those who protect them. How quickly forgotten is the suffering, losses, damages, and injuries sustained by our soldiers and their families. They earn their pensions through years of blood, sweat, and tears and are repaid with disloyalty and dishonesty from our Congress.

Senators Ryan and Murray, this film represents the average day at the office for a soldier. War touches everyone involved and continues after the uniform is hung to rest.

UPDATE:  The Senate voted to fully consider this budget bill on the floor.   Today we rest; and tomorrow, we prepare for battle.

SECOND UPDATE: Folks, per AirforceTimes.com through DoD and Pentagon sourcing, this Bipartisan Balanced Budget Act also cuts COLA from retirees who fall under Chapter 61 – retired out due to injury or disability. You know, the Wounded Warriors. Here’s the source:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131217/BENEFITS05/312170015/Medical-retirees-included-COLA-reductions

And a second source: http://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=18508212-7e13-4c53-a70e-4b737a823d9c

– Samantha

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