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Happy Memorial Day! Trump Screws Soldiers Again After Depriving National Guard Benefits

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Another Memorial Day has arrived.

Because of the number of COVID-19 deaths over the past two months, we have more to mourn this year than just fallen American soldiers.

Just in time for this sacrosanct holiday, we see another example of the Trump administration's flagrant disrespect toward our men and women in uniform.

Politico reported last week:

"More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a 'hard stop' on their deployments on June 24just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official."

So on June 24, on their 89th day of deployment, National Guard soldiers will be forced to forfeit education and retirement benefits that would have been guaranteed them under the G.I. Bill after 90 days of active duty.

As Rachel Maddow explained on her MSNBC show:

"These National Guardsmen and Guardswomen, they're doing everything from running community testing sites, they're doing that all over the country. They're providing medical staffing in hard hit prisons that have tons of cases. They have been running food banks and food distribution sites. They run field hospitals. They've been dispatched to states like Massachusetts to run the state nursing home program for residents and staff. National guard has been doing all of this work from an order from President Trump that allowed this to be paid for by the federal government."

This is not the first time, or even the second or third time, Donald Trump has "pimped out" the military.

Trump admitted as much in January when he bragged about accepting $1 billion from Saudi Arabia and South Korea in exchange for American military protection.

This kicked off a flood of vitriol over a situation in which high-bidding countries could potentially use American soldiers as mercenaries regardless of those nations' ideologies.

Some questioned Saudi Arabia's worthiness due to the Saudi link to the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018.

Some pointed 15 of 19 of the September 11, 2001 hijackers were Saudis.

Others inquired about where the Saudi $1 billion even is.

David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell reported in The Washington Post on December 5, 2018, lobbyists representing the Saudi Arabian government reserved 500 rooms at Trump's D.C. hotel within a month of the 2016 presidential election, for which they paid more than $270,000.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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