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When a person enlists in the Service he signs a contract with the Government wherein he pledges his life if called upon to give it, and other considerations too numerous to mention. The Government contracts, among other things, social security in the event of a disability incurred in line of duty. The out-and-out implication being adequate social security. We feel that the Government is not keeping its contract in this respect, for certainly, if a soldier or sailor injured by an explosion during a national emergency is entitled to $100 for that permanent disability, the soldier or sailor likewise disabled in preventing a national emergency is equally entitled.
As mentioned, we are not, at this time, seeking equality in compensation for in view of present business recession, and other Nation-wide economic reverses we feel it our duty as the real Americans we have proven ourselves to be by our voluntary service and sacrifices, to contribute our share to recovery of the Nation's financial security, but not by starvation, misery, and dire distress, as we have heretofore done and are now doing.
Before going into a discussion of the bill S. 3503, we want to state that the bill is an honest one, and a fair one.
It is an honest bill in every respect from the need of its enactment down to, and including the presentation of our plea for its enactment. It is more than fair to the Government for it does not seek other than a step toward justicenot asking for equality, which would be justice. We do not seek sympathy, nor do we appeal to sympathy in our presentation-we seek only the rights guaranteed us by the Constitution of the United States, with the single exception that we do not even seek, at this time, the justice guaranteed us by that document.
THE NEED OF RELIEF
We present herewith a few photographs of disabled Regulars and a very brief history of their disability, also one of the "homes” of a disabled Regular
Frank Sobolowski (see exhibit A): Twenty-two years' service in the United States Army, much of which was with the justly famous Army Band. He contracted cancer of the intestines and part of his spine and lower intestines were removed, including his colon. His pension is $45 a month and from that he must buy food, clothing, 'medical necessities, quarters, heat, maintain a family, etc. Regular Sobolowski is here with us today. We ask your permission to introduce him and to question him, if you so desire.
Paul W. Groves (see exhibit B), who is likewise totally disabled and is forced to sit in the position we now see him 24 hours of each day, who went into the service a strong young man, and now weighs less than 90 pounds, yet with a smile on his face and the belief that his service and sacrifices will be recognized by a grateful Government.
Charles Rope, who is a resident at the United States Soldiers' Home, being discharged from the Army with 29 years and 7 months' service, for disabilities incurred in line of duty. He had less than 1 year to do to retire at an annuity of three-quarters his base pay, plus retirement allowances, totaling approximately $64, yet today he receives $15 a month. It is apropos to state that his pension is actually $27 a month but that single Regulars who are residents of their own home-the United States Soldiers' Home, which they have paid for, and soldiers in service now maintain-are cut to not exceeding $15 a month while residents of the home and that this money is impounded by the Veterans' Administration and goes back into the United States Treasury through a decision of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, who holds that even though the soldiers have paid for the home and are now maintaining it, the United States Soldiers' Home is maintained by the Government. Yet, it is a fact that the United States is now paying interest on the fund that maintains the United States Soldiers' Home.
PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO APPEAR
James A. Conway, Paradise, Pa. (exhibit C), is a photograph of the “home sweet home” of this Regular, and we quote from his letter as best expressing the bravery and honesty with which he faces his condition:
"DEAR REGULAR NIEMAN: Here is a picture of my little home. Everyone here knows how I am forced to live, and I glory in the fact that I have never been on relief, although it is less than an existence this life of mine. I get plenty hungry, but have plenty of heat. Talk about balancing the budget-they have nothing on me, and I can give some of our budget balancers' some practical pointers---nothing 'theoretical about my budget balancing-trying to exist on $13 a month. I actually earned $1.80 since in November 1937-some salary.
Victim of cancer of the intestines. Twenty-two years of service in the United
States Army. "His pension is $45 a month and from that he must buy food, clothing, medical necessities, quarters, heat, maintain a family, etc.”
totally disabled and is forced to sit in the position we now see him 24 hours of each day, who went into the service a strong young man and now weighs less than 90 pounds ...