Just passing this on.........as a wife of a Marine.........please do not flame me for this and I am NOT saying anything negative about the 9/11 victims or families left behind. This is a strong article to share. While tragic the only thing I can come up with is our military signed up for the risk of harm. Americans as a group do not realize the risk is there all of the time to become a victim and they do not realize how little the servicemen and women make in salary and benefits. We get a flag, maybe a couple more medals post mortem and the sense we should be proud of our loved one. The victims of 9/11 were victims in the wrong place at the wrong time as were the victims of the Pan Am flight over Scotland. This article hits it the nail right on the head. It is not so much if you agree with the war but who is making these decisons and the life long problems these decisions lead to. CUT & PASTED: Love him or loathe him, he nailed this one right on the head............. By Rush Limbaugh: I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving the country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I just can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million. If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt. Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers. We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well. You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense? However, our own U.S. Congress just voted themselves a raise, and many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month, and most are now equal to being millionaires plus. They also do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system. If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, you may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed you in harm's way receive a pension of $15,000 per month. I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting! "When do we finally do something about this?" If this doesn't seem fair to you, it is time to forward this to as many people as you can. If you're interested there is more...................... This must be a campaign issue in 2004. Keep it going. SOCIAL SECURITY: (This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.) Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security. Many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000 - that's Seven Million, Eight Hundred Thousand), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each. Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. These little perks they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Fund--our tax dollars at work! From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into -- every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) --we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits! Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made . And that change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us and then watch how fast they would fix it. If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve. WE, each one of us... can make a difference..