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VFW urges members to shun DoD benefit survey

Researchers at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments are surveying troops, retirees, and their families to see which pay and benefits packages are too important to lose, and which ones could be trimmed to help save the military money. The survey can be found at

Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at CSBA, said the goal is to inform future discussions about the benefits priorities of troops and their spouses. Questions cover issues like basic pay increases, housing stipends, health care costs and rules for retirement payouts. Officials at the Veterans of Foreign Wars aren't happy with the survey's options and underlying themes.

In a statement, VFW Legislative Director Ray Kelley said the group does not accept the notion that cuts to personnel programs and benefits are the only viable solution. We have an obligation to provide for our war-fighters and their loved ones, and the VFW will not let Congress or the Pentagon shirk that obligation, Kelley said.

After reading through the survey, VFW leaders balked at the tone of the questions, which asked participants to rate certain military benefits over others, and then determine the kinds of benefit packages that would be preferable to service members in the future. The VFW discourages members from participating in the survey, since the data will likely be used as an endorsement of certain benefit cuts by service members themselves.

Please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by e-mail at As always, have a great week.