Thursday, August 4, 2016
Going to the Top of the Chain of Command
Today I talked with one of the soldiers I served with during for the last several years. I told her about asking Congressman Joe Pitts to help me get the 11 months and 9 days of service I need to complete 20 years. He couldn't help. So she suggested I write to the President.
So I did, on www.whitehouse.gov
Here's what I wrote. I will let you know what happens:
On May 3 of this year, I left the Army at age 63. I first enlisted in 1972, served for 11 years on active duty and in the reserves then left the military to pursue a civilian career in 1984. In August of 2007 I re-enlisted at 54 years old, made possible by a temporary increase in the enlistment age. I knew the mandatory age for ending my enlistment was 60. I deployed to Iraq for a year in 2009-10. I volunteered to go to Afghanistan in 2012 with the 55th Brigade of the PA Army National Guard, but the deployment was cancelled. I got two extensions past age 60, in part because I scored maximum on the fitness test and was in a shortage job skill. Earlier this year, I asked for, but did not get an extension to serve another year. As a result, I left the Army with 19 years and 21 days of service. As you are aware, military retirement requires 20 years. I am a bicycle racer and finished an Ironman Triathlon at 61 years old. I am physically able to serve and good at my military job. I live in the Congressional district of Joe Pitts and asked for his assistance. He was unable to help. At this point, I believe only President Obama could help me. I would be happy to serve and know that medical personnel get waivers up to their late 70s. Since I have six kids, three adopted and three the old fashioned way, the retirement income would be put to good use. But I also would like to maintain my connection with the soldiers I served with in Pennsylvania and in Iraq. Without an official connection to the military, I cannot go on military bases. My service and all of my discharges were honorable throughout my career. I have many awards and decorations. My tour in Iraq was with the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. While I did not serve in the Vietnam War, I served during that war and was temporarily blinded in a missile explosion in Utah. Thank you in advance for anything you could do to let me complete my long career.