‘No Drama Obama’ may not be a good thing in a country addicted to superlatives. Anyway… from Stripes-Central

Obama: Apply now for retroactive stop-loss pay By Jeff Schogol Published: September 15, 2010

Fewer than half of the people eligible for retroactive stop-loss compensation have been paid, prompting President Barack Obama to urge eligible veterans, troops and surviving family members to apply for their money before the program ends on Oct. 21. “Some veterans think this is some sort of gimmick or scam, or it’s some way for the government to call you back to service,” Obama said in a video message released on Wednesday. “Nothing could be further from the truth. As your commander in chief, I am here to tell you that this is no gimmick or trick. You worked hard; you earned this money.”

About 145,000 people are eligible for the money, but only about 58,000 claims have been paid so far because the services have run into problems reaching them despite efforts to get the word out through veterans groups, the media, bloggers roundtables, and direct mailings. “We were very happy to see the president use the clout of his office to put out a message like this, to set the record straight on the benefit and in a concerted effort to make sure veterans know about it and have the resources to take advantage of it,” said Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for AMVETS. The compensation program offers $500 for every month servicemembers were held beyond their initial separation date. The average payout so far has been between $3,000 and $4,000. “You served with honor,” Obama said. “You did your duty. And when you’re country called on you again, you did your duty again. Now it’s time to collect that special pay that you deserve.”

To apply online, go to: http://www.defense.gov/stoploss


Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."