Collins was right to reduce benefits

As a veteran, I don’t think Rep. Chris Collins should be ashamed for voting to reduce benefits for working-age military retirees. First of all, the compensation is very good right now.

Don’t forget that enlisted ranks are also entitled to free clothing, shelter, food and medical care. Officers get free medical coverage but have to pay for the rest. In addition, there are pay bonuses for hazardous duty, combat, jump pay and other related activities, for both officers and enlisted. All have access to the government-subsidized PX and commissary, both active duty and retired.

As far as retirement goes, after 20 years in service, retirement pay is (or used to be) 50 percent of the pay at retirement. After 30 years, the retirement was 75 percent. Looking back, I wish I had stayed in long enough to retire. I would be set for life. Yes, being in the military has risks, but a small percentage of the people in the military are actually at risk.

My main point is that we need to take a very hard look at government employee compensation at all levels, not just the military. However to blame Collins and label him as insensitive is not based on reality.

Richard Speth