For a little while during the 2004 elections, I got excited about the candidacy of Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) and I was supporting him during much of the Democratic primary race. He's the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (my vote for coolest job title ever!). He's a former republican-turned-Proud Democrat. I only started to drift away from the General's campaign when it felt like he was letting to many ex-Clinton talking-heads handle him and 'smooth him out' or 'take away the rough edges'.
Damn it! The sharp edges and outspoken passion about common sense issues was what I LIKED best! It's what sparked the initial brush-fire of grass-roots support. Then the idiot handlers managed to convince him he needed to become a candidate and stop being a LEADER! What morons. And a shame he was so new to the 'political game' that he didn't know to beat them back with sticks.
After his unsuccessful candidacy, Gen. Clark formed his own Political Action Committee and is still actively involved in foreign policy and domestic policy initiatives and most notably; Veterans issues. As shown in this recent email I received from him. Veterans and and Active Duty Service members... Pay Attention!
I was proud to join House Leaders Nancy Pelosi, Ike Skelton,
Lane Evans, and John Salazar last year on Capitol Hill to unveil
the new GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century, legislation
designed to improve benefits for our soldiers and their families
today, while providing long overdue benefits for our veterans
and military retirees.
We recognized that something needed to be done to eliminate
the "widow's tax," which penalizes the survivors of those killed
in combat by reducing the benefits to which they are entitled.
Unfortunately, the one-party Congress has chosen to pursue
their own agenda -- focusing on making the tax cuts for the
wealthiest Americans permanent. As for the "widow's tax?" An
amendment to repeal it was removed from the latest defense
authorization bill by the Republican Congressional leadership.
It's just wrong, and it's bad for military
readiness. This is not the time for politics. This
is not the time for special interest haggling and pork barrel
politics. If we are going to maintain the best volunteer,
professional army in the world, we must provide soldiers with
the peace of mind that comes from knowing the rest of us will
take up for their families if they are killed. How can we
expect good, qualified people to remain in military service? It
is our duty, as a grateful nation, to stand up for our veterans
and their families.
I want to share with you the story of Dan Shea, a member of
our WesPAC community. Dan's brother, Lt. Col. Kevin Shea, was
killed in Falluja on September 14, 2004. Like many soldiers,
Kevin believed the government would take care of his wife Amy
and their two children if anything should happen to him. But
because of the "widow's tax," this is not the case.
A widow of a service member killed in the line of duty is
supported by the survivors' plan paid by the Department of
Defense and a dependent's compensation paid by the Department of
Veterans Affairs. But under the current law, the payment from
the Defense Department is reduced dollar for dollar by the
Veterans Administration's payment: The "widow's tax."
I invite you to read Dan's op-ed in today's New York
Times on how the "widow's tax" is hurting his
I leave you with Dan's own words from the conclusion of his
"If President Bush really wants to honor the men and women
fighting this war -- and dying like my brother -- then he
should call on Congress to eliminate the "widow's tax." It's the
least he can do."
If you are active duty military or a Veteran of the US Military, then this life-long warrior is fighting for You and Your Family! Go support WesPAC!