Federal budget to cost veterans 1 percent of pay - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Federal budget to cost veterans 1 percent of pay

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Veterans under 62 years of age will have a 1 percent reduction in their annual cost of living adjustments or COLAs.

Veterans of Foreign Affairs reports that for a veteran who retires at age 40, the cut would result in about an $80,000 loss in pay by age 62.

Tyrone McAfee spent 10 years in the Army and retired nine years ago. He relies heavily on cost of living benefits and says without it he would be struggling.

"Without the benefits I wouldn't be able to pay my bills, I wouldn't be able to have a roof over my head, I wouldn't be able to support myself, and I wouldn't be able to actually hold my head to even walk around," McAfee said.

Doug Davito, who served 20 years in the Air Force, struggles similarly.
Davito had a heart attack a few years ago, and relies on multiple veterans benefits to survive.

"One percent is a lot of money," Davito said. "You figure my retirement pay gets cut in half after [retirement]. Now they're taking 1 percent to balance the budget."

In Nevada, there are about 246,000 veterans, and all of those less than age 62 would be affected.

Congressional budget analysts say this reduction would save about $6.2 billion over 10 years.

However, McAfee and Davito say the savings Congress is hoping for aren't worth it when veterans like themselves are living paycheck to paycheck.

"I hear this all the time - they say 'go veterans,' 'we've got to support the military,' and when it's time to start cutting we're the first ones to get cut," McAfee said.

"We don't get paid enough, we serve our country," Davito said.

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