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“SOUND OFF” # 3


THIS IS THE THIRD EDITION OF “SOUND OFF,” A NEW FEATURE IN MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM THAT WILL GIVE READERS A “FIRST-PERSON” ACCOUNT OF MILITARY WRONGDOING AND INJUSTICE AS SEEN AND EXPERIENCED BY OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM.

WILL YOU COLLECT
YOUR MILITARY RETIREMENT?
NOT IF YOUR EX-WIFE
CAN GRAB MOST OF IT

By Capt. Roy Alba, USAF (Ret)


So you think you're going to retire from the military in 20 years and collect your full military retainer pay, better known as retirement. Well, is there ever news for you, and it's called the Uniform Service Former Spouse Protection Act at http://americanretirees.com/fspayou.htm.

USFSPA can work against female military members who are married to civilian males. However, it mostly works against male military members, since the military is composed primarily of males married to civilian females. For simplicity's sake, let's stick to the most common scenario to make it more understandable - that being a male military member married to a female civilian.

HOW THE ACT CAME ABOUT

Around 1981 this situation came to light in a U.S. Supreme Court decision called McCarty v McCarty. An ex-civilian spouse was trying to get part of her former husband's retirement pay. The high court ruled that it was was not "retirement pay," but rather "retainer," used to keep retired military personnel on call in event of a national emergency.

Unfortunately, Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder got fellow lawmakers to "back date" the court decision, so the Supreme Court ruling did not apply. She and her colleagues came up with the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act.

This act simply allows an ex-civilian spouse to be paid from a retired military member's retainer pay in perpetuity, which can be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month. Don't confuse this with civilian retirement. Unlike civilians, retired military members are subject to compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and most of all, subject to recall to active duty. Civilians are not!

While reading this you might say: "Hey, troublemaker, I'm happily married and have no worry about divorce." You may be happy now, but is your wife really happy? Remember, it takes two to marry, but only one to divorce. So you could be happily married to that wonderful civilian lady, return from the war, only to find out that she's sick and tired of the military and she's divorcing you.

Then that ex-wife can remarry and now you're paying her AND the new husband, who are having all that money deposited into a joint checking/savings account.

Now, let's assume your ex-wife dies, at which point you're supposed to be informed so USFSPA payments can stop. So who's going to inform you of her death? Will Defense Finance and Accounting Service do this? You better think again, because in most cases, they won't!

If you honestly think the above is really bad, what about you guys married to foreign nationals? Suppose that wife doesn't like living in the United States, divorces you, wins USFSPA payments, returns to her foreign country of origon, where she receives the payments, then she "donates" those payments to causes which can overthrow the United States. Remember, once she receives that money, it's hers to do with as she desires. In effect, you could be supporting the very enemy you are fighting!

Why, you may ask, did anyone ever join the military, if this dastardly act existed? The problem was, this act did not exist when may joined the military. The rules were changed in "mid-stream."

The question might be asked, could this act be a financial "incentive" to seek a divorce? If the legislation did not exist, would there be fewer military divorces? Moreover, USFSPA, combined with alimony and child support can leave you penniless.

Take a look at over 10,000 horror stories of troops who have found out the hard way, at REFORM/REPEAL UNIFORMED SERVICES FORMER SPOUSES' PROTECTION ACT at http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?USFSPA. Do you still doubt the existence or the financial horror of the USFSPA?

Would there have been as many victims on this petition if they had been warned about the USFSPA's existence? But you say: "I'm expecting the Pentagon or base JAG to voluntarily inform me about the USFSPA." Do you really think they would inform you of a major "disincentive" in an era of difficulty in retaining and recruiting troops?

In fact, a Pentagon JAG, LTC Thomas Emsweiler, in an article entitled: "DOD Backs Changes to Law Protecting Former Military Spouses" at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2002/n07112002_200207112.html. So do you still think your military leadership is on your side?

WHAT WOULD THEY DO THEN?

It would be interesting to track what JAGS do with the USFSPA law once they retire from the military. In their new civilian legal practice, would they defend the troops and their right to keep their own retainer pay, or take advantage of fellow military members by financially raking them over the coals by representing ex-civilian wives?

What can you do to stop this USFSPA tavesty? If you think writing your congressman will change things, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. Many who are victimized by the USFSPA, have been writing politicians for years and receiving either no response or "form letters."

The best to do is to tackle USFSPA with the lesser of two evils - that being the court system, or more precisly, the USFSPA lawsuit at http://usfspa-lawsuit.info/. Also, spread the word to married fellow veterans, all of which are potential USFSPA victims.

On the other hand, you batchelors don't have to worry. Lucky you!

A POSSIBLE SCENARIO

Is doesn't take a genius to see how the USFSPA can be used in wartime against our own troops. Just envision this:

We are at war. An American military officer or enlisted man has been captured by the enemy. While seated and surrounded by guards, an interrogator holds a cigarette between his thumb and forefinger. He says in smooth-accented English, "Vell, Amerikan Gee Eye, your country does not care about you - zay stop your military retirement pay because zay would rather geeve it to your ex-wife and her new husband zan to geeve it to you. Dis a FACT! Zoooo, are you now prepared to endure all zee torture ve vill inflict upon you? NOW TELL US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW!"

What would you do?

TRUTH TO THE TROOPS. And be sure to check out www.militarybetrayed.com. Thank you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: EQUAL SPACE WILL BE GIVEN IN THIS COLUMN TO THOSE WHO FEEL THEY HAVE BEEN MISQUOTED OR LIBELED BY OUR GUEST WRITERS. THE SOLE AIM OF MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM IS TO BE FAIR AND OBJECTIVE TO ALL PARTIES CONCERNED. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OPEN AN INVESTIGATION INTO ANYONE WE FEEL IS TRYING TO DECEIVE US OR PROVIDE US WITH FALSE INFORMATION.

Previously in Sound Off!

GENERAL DYNAMICS BUYS OFF
GENERAL HEEBNER – FAULTY
“STRYKER” ARMORED VEHICLE
A VAST BOONDOGGLE – WHY ARE WE
NOT SURPRISED?

By Lonnie T. Shoultz

ALASKA AIR GUARD OFFICER
SUFFERS RETALIATION
FOR TELLING THE TRUTH

By Lt. Col. Frederick D. “Dutch” Overly

 



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