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“God bless you and our other officers for the wonderful fight you are putting up for the forgotten men, women, and children of our Nation, and Regular Nieman, you will note from the flag over my humble door that I am ready to go again for my country, no matter what happens to me after. Yours in Regularship,


These pictures are not exceptions as there are some thirty-odd thousands disabled Regulars in the Nation.


I hesitate at taking up this portion of my presentation, for frankly, I get angry every time I consider it. It is so cruel, so inhumane, so un-American, and so uncalled for.

A man "can take it,” using a slang expression, and, indicating that a man can exist in some manner or other, regardless of what betides him. So the disabled Regular "can take it” as long as he himself alone is concerned, but when his dependents—the finest American women and children in the Nation, must starve and suffer with him—then it is a different thing and through no fault of the Regular other than the fact that he was—just a Regular.

We state emphatically that a policy which permits the dependents of one who has served his Nation, received permanent disabilities or death therein, to suffer as dependents of disabled Regulars are suffering now is a policy that stinks to high heaven-it is a national disgrace, and the same may be said about the policy of “doles” for the disabled Regular. Such a law should be immediately wiped off the statute books of the United States.

We shuddered, recently, when we read of bombs being dropped on defenseless heads in China and in Spain, yet the dependents of disabled Regulars, and the disabled Regulars also are being condemned to death by malnutrition, by poor shelter, by exposure, by lack of decent treatment just as surely as though an airplane were hovering over them sighting very carefully that the human targets below might not be missed by the next demolition bomb, and plainly speaking, the bomb would be preferable to the existence of this group of American citizens who also served their country.

In 85 percent of the cases of which we have knowledge of, the Regular is unable to secure gainful employment. He is denied access to the W. P. A., the C. C. C., and even the relief rolls by reason of the fact he is not a war veteran and draws a small pittance. Civil-service preference for Regulars is a joke, and efforts are under way, I regret to add, to further limit his participation in that.

There is not a person in this Nation that even feels these dependents are inferior citizens, but, their plight is obvious. I know their cause has never been presented to you gentlemen before, and now that it has been that you will take steps to help rectify it.

THE BILL S. 3503

Up until the World War, pensions for disabled soldiers and sailors were the same regardless of where or when the disability was incurred.

After the World War, the order of things was changed, and the disabled Regular became the "absolute” forgotten man of the Nation. The faint cry of the disabled Regular for relief could not be heard for he was not organized until lately, and the single cry in the wilderness went unnoted.

In 1933, when the so-called Economy Act went into effect, disabled Regulars were slashed unmercifully, and thousands of them are still suffering from those slashes, so that many of us are receiving less pension today than we would have 50 years ago. This is brought about through the fact that although the rate of pension per 1 percent of disability was increased under Public, No. 2, the President, by Executive order, reduced the rating of disabilities considerably, and the enactment of Public, 788, merely acted to restore us to 75 percent of what we were receiving prior to the Economy Act, provided such was not in excess of 75 percent of the rate received by the World War disabled. None disabled today are effected by Public 788, therefore, his pension is now approximately but one-third the average paid the war disabled.

There are four groups of disabled Regulars:
1. Those disabled prior to 1898.
2. Those disabled subsequent to 1898.

3. Those disabled in connection with the World War, but not previously considered war veterans.

58250-38-pt. 1


4. Those disabled in connection with the Spanish-American War, but not considered war veterans.

NOTE.-The majority of group 3, above, have been taken into consideration lately under an enactment extending benefits to those reenlisting and disabled for a certain period of time following the signing of the armistice on a par with the war disabled, therefore, S. 3503 will benefit groups 1 and 2, above, and group 3, may elect to benefit thereunder, however, their average pension is $42.20 at this time, and the average pension under S. 3503 would be approximately $32.11 so we do not feel group 3 would benefit under this law.


S. 3503 provides for paying 80 percent of statutory awards. This is now approximately 50 percent in some instances and nothing in other instances. Congress, in amending the World War Veterans' Act of 1924 fully considered the need and the rates of these awards for the war disabled and acted accordingly. We ask entitlement thereunder to the extent of not less than 80 percent.



We feel that the variant of soldier, sailor, marine, or coast guard should be used in the adjudicating of claims of disabled Regulars rather than the vocation of the Regular at the time of enlistment, as his enlistment was purely voluntary, and we can but assume that he contemplated following the service as a career. The largest percent of Regulars inccurring disability in line of duty are disabled within their first 6 years of service, being 76.4 percent, with an average of 4.63 years of service (figures compiled by the Regular Veterans' Association from records of organization members). It follows with the average years service at time of disability, being 4.63, what the Regular reenlisted which more than substantiates the assumption of the service as a career. In fact, it firmly establishes acceptance of the service as a career, and it follows that much, if not all of the past civilian vocational knowledge possessed by the disabled Regular would have evaporated during the over 4 years of service, if he really had such training prior to enlistment, and which is problematical in a large percentage of instances due to the minimum enlistment age being 18, and the turnover in the service being around 25 percent with 75 percent reenlistments.


Gentlemen, we ask you, in our support of this part of the bill; Will $30 (now provided) employ a competent attendant for a person totally disabled? Regular aid and attendance-$30 a month, $1 each day and in addition, the attendant must be housed and food provided and their services must be regular and continuous. Remember, please, that the totally disabled Regular now receives but $35 pension and but $30 for an attendant and from that, he must provide everything, and in addition feed and house his attendant. How many Regulars are married to women with the necessary training as a nurse? Very few, I am sure, so the Regular must secure competent, trained help if he is to be given the chance to hang on to the thin thread of life we all hang on to so dearly. The war-time disabled receives $150 in this same instance.

PRESUMPTIVE SERVICE-INCURRED DISABILITIES There is considerable controversy over this phase of veteran relief. This organization enters it only that justice may be provided for those absolutely entitled thereto. We speak from the experience we have gained in the progress of our organization, and without one bit of consideration of the past discussion of this phase of veterans' relief. I have not read those discussions, and, therefore, make my presentation untrammeled with arguments previously propounded by others in support of, or against, such a phase of veteran relief. We seek only that which we feel to be fair and just.

In all, the Regular Veterans' Association has handled approximately 1,750 claims before the Veterans' Administration, and in this entire amount there has been less than 2 percent that would come under this presumptive clause. In every instance where we have made an exhaustive study we are firmly convinced that the Regulars' disability is service incurred, yet we have been unable to service connect his disability, and a great injustice has been done.

For one example, we refer the attention of you gentlemen to the case of Stephen Sowinski (S. 510, 75th Cong., S. Rept. No. 93). Briefly, the veteran was discharged after 1 year 9 months and 16 days' service for epilepsy, found “not in line of duty.'

On March 1, 1909, a diagnosis of dementia praecox and insanity, line of duty, was given in Regular Sowinski's case, and on July 20, 1909, a diagnosis of “epilepsy,

chronic, grand mal. Existed prior to enlistment; not in line of duty. Dementia praecox not confirmed."

It developes that the veteran made the statement, during observation, that he had been suffering with epilepsy for some time prior to enlistment, and that his father had died with such a seizure, or results thereof. Subsequent investigation discloses that his father is still alive at the ripe age of 85 years and in the best of health.

The Committee on Military Affairs, Seventy-fifth Congress, finds the veteran to be suffering from a service-connected disability. A bill, S. 2045, Seventy-fourth Congress, was passed by the Senate, but failed of passage by the House due to adjournment of the House. The bill was reported favorably to the House, by the House Military Affairs Committee, etc.

Surely, it should not require a special bill for each like instance, yet there are a number (not a great number) of these bills coming up each year and year after year. We ask justice for these disabled Regulars, and certainly they should not have to plead for that justice. It should be the law.

The 180 days set up in S. 3503 establishing presumptive service-incurred disability is felt just and fair in view of the fact that this clause for the war veteran is but 90 days and by increasing the ratio to 180 days (6 months) sufficient time is given the various services to determine the fitness of all personnel.

ESTIMATED COST OF S. 3503 We do not hold that we are financial experts; however, we have made some simple calculations obtained from the annual report of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (1937). Likely, there are a few items that we have not considered, but we feel them to be small ones, and certainly the increases in cost which S. 3503 will provide is but a small amount toward rectifying the unjust, unfair, and highly discriminatory pittance that has been doled out to the disabled and/or his dependents of the regular armed forces of the United States.

Section 1, S. 3503.–1,059 veterans on the rolls; average pension, $20.79; total cost at present, $264,192. Increase in average, per month, $11.32, based on 80 percent of the average pension received by World War disabled, which is $40.14. Increased cost, $143,854.

Section 2, S. 3503.20,254 Regulars on rolls (excluding beneficiaries of Public, 304, etc.); average pension, $20.42; total cost at present, $4,936,500. Increase in average, per month, $11.69, based on 80 percent of the average pension received by World War disabled. Increased cost, $2,841,231.

Section 3, S. 3503.-7,061 dependents on rolls; average pension, $24.45; total cost at present, $2,072,052. Average increase, per month, $4.71, based on 80 percent of the average pension received by dependents of World War. Increased cost, $399,087.

Section 4, S. 3503.No tables are available in this instance; however, the percentage will be so small that clause will make no appreciable increase in the sum total.

Our estimate of the total increased cost of the bill, S. 3503, is $3,484,172. (Allowing $50,000 under sec. 4 and $50,000 for restoration of statutory rights to those who have been eliminated from the rolls and entitled to such benefit.)


Amputation cases under S. 3503, existent prior to the Economy Act, will receive an increase in pension of but approximately 5 percent due to the fact that Public, 788 restored them to within 75 percent of that they received at the Economy Act with proviso that it not exceed 75 percent of that received by the war-disabled. Amputations of today will receive approximately a 43 percent increase. Totally disabled and lesser degrees of general nature, would receive an increase of approximately 78 percent. Dependents will receive an increase of approximately 19 percent. The increase in the cost of pension total would be approximately 47 percent, yet in the final analysis the service incurred disabled Regular and/or his dependents, will be receiving but 80 percent of that received by the war veteran and/or their dependents and will still be denied dependents pensions in the event of their death when suffering a service-incurred disability of 20 percent or more.

2. Hospitalization excepting for service-incurred disabilities and a very few other instances.

3. A service pension when too old or incapacitated to work.
4. An earned equality in pensions for like disabilities.
5. A flag for their casket that would then go to their nearest of kin.
6. Too many other discriminations to mention here.

Gentlemen, I realize that we have taken up much of your time and there are others to hear from besides us.

Let me thank you for your patience and for your attention, and in the name of the long suffering, long forgotten, grossly underpensioned disabled Regulars and/or their dependents of the Regular Armed Forces of the United States, we plead your favorable consideration of our “lantern of hope," S. 3503, for we seek not alms, sympathy, or charity of any sort. We do seek justice, fairness, and the consummation of the Governments' actual and implied contract with us when we voluntarily enisted in the services of said Government which guaranteed us social security in the event of disability incurred in the line of duty-a decent and fair standard of existance, which is the obvious interpretation of the phrase “Social Security.”


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(Prepared by Regular Veterans Association, 1032 17th St. NW., Wash

ington, D. C.) This graph depicts only a very few of the comparisons between the war veteran and the disabled Regulars. Taken item for item through the entire list discloses that the disabled Regular receives but approximately one-third the average compensation paid the war veteran.

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Solid line

indicates Disabled Regular. Broken line--Wer Toteran.

The Regular signs a contract with the Government when enlisting which requires the Regular's life, limb, and health if the service requires it.

The Government pledges social security in the event of a service-incurred disability. The contract does not indicate amounts, leaving the plain inference that adequate social security is indicated.

The war veteran and the Regular sign identical contracts, excepting as to length of service. Pensions are paid, rightly, on the basis of disabilities incurred and on the basis of risks assumed.

The percentage of deaths and disabilities from service incurred causes is greater today than it was during the World War, duty for duty, service for service, and man for man-astounding as this may appear, therefore,

The Government is not being fair and just to its Regulars.

Senator Logan. You are seeking to provide for the Regular Army, and who else?

Mr. NIEMAN. The Regular Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Senator LOGAN. They are all included in this bill?
Mr. NIEMAN. Yes.

Senator LOGAN. Now, it proposes to set up a system of pensions. Just tell us briefly the rates, what changes it makes in the present law. I know you have it in your brief, but give the essential points orally.

Mr. NIEMAN. If the Senator will refer to appendix D of the printed statement on the back page of the record.

Senator LOGAN. Yes.

Mr. NIEMAN. It will show the present discriminations between the disabled regular and war veterans. That is, to a certain extent. There are very few of them contained therein. At this time the disabled regular receives approximately, all things considered, one-third of the general pension received by the war-time disabled.

Senator LOGAN. That is the information that I was wanting to obtain.

Mr. Nieman. At the present time he receives about one-third-all things considered, taking it from the top to the bottom.

Senator LOGAN. Does this bill propose to put them on the same basis?

Mr. NIEMAN. No, sir; we are only asking 80 percent.

Senator Logan. You are only asking 80 percent of what the War Veteran gets?

Mr. NIEMAN. Yes.

Senator LOGAN. Is it correct that this appendix on the last page sets out the rates that are received by the war-time veteran as well as the rates received by the Regular Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Veterans, and also what you propose in this bill to establish as the proper rate?

Mr. NIEMAN. That is right, sir.

Senator LOGAN. I do not believe I care to ask any further questions in the matter, Mr. Chairman. The bill is rather short, and it proposes just what Mr. Nieman has said, that is, to raise the rate of compensation up to 80 percent of the war veterans compensation. That is all the measure does propose, as I understand it.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nieman, now you may make any summary of the major points that you think we ought to be especially familiar with, and, of course, we will give careful consideration and study to your written statement.

Mr. NIEMAN. Senator, the written statement bringsitout thoroughly in every respect.

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