I retired to Clarksville in 2001 after serving for 21 years in the U.S. Army. I’m active with veterans groups, my community, and my church.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation about the budget vote that impacted the COLA for military retirement pay. After meeting with Senator Alexander I wanted to reach out to you to correct the record.

Lamar voted against the budget agreement.

In his statement regarding his vote, he singled out the way veterans were treated, saying: “I voted against the budget agreement because it avoids the federal government’s most urgent need: reducing the growth of runaway entitlement spending. Instead, it spends savings that should be used to strengthen Medicare, pensions, and the air transportation system. It is particularly troubling that the budget agreement takes money from pensions in a way that treats military retirees worse than the civilian federal employees.”

Senator Alexander knows that we can't balance our country's budget on the backs of veterans who have already given so much – but we also can’t ignore the country’s looming fiscal crisis. That’s why he and Senator Corker have proposed a meaningful way to address the runaway growth of spending in their ‘Fiscal Sustainability Act'.

As veterans we’ve served our country proudly. We know that nothing is ever black and white. We should argue and debate and continue to work on constructive ways to address our nation’s serious budget challenges – but when we do, we have to get our facts right.

Lamar voted against the budget agreement because it was a bad deal for veterans .

Thank you for letting me set the record straight.


Tommy J. Vallejos,Sr. 
21-year veteran of the U.S. Army
Clarksville, Tennessee

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