STEVE AVERY: Indiana Republicans Vote to Cut Veterans Benefits


To: Stephen W. Short, American Legion, State of Indiana

From: Lt Col Stephen L. Avery, USAF (Ret), Indianapolis, IN for Veterans Today

I am originally from Clinton County and still have a small farm there.

After serving for 30+ years as an officer and command pilot (F-111F, C-141 and C-17 Staff Officer) we moved back to Indiana 5 years ago.

This may or may not shock you, but I have detected a smell of major corruption at the Federal Bldg. VA Office.

Following 9-11 I was promoted to be the Ass’t Director of Intel and Emerging Threats for all US air carriers and prior to that I was the head of Security for a major air carrier (top 5).

My career in the Air Force was mainly “Black Ops, US Navy Seals, Delta, White House USSS, etc.”

When we moved back to Indianapolis from Charleston, SC the VA here could not find any of my permanent military records until WTHR Channel 13 found nearly 60 inches of them via a FOIA request from the Pentagon.

I am behind you 100% on this issue and you need to raise the flags on this and stand the line!!!

As a Air Force Reservist having flown nearly 8,029 hours we did not have any medical insurance until you retired at age 60.  Following Desert Storm our men and women began to fall over and begin to die from many cancerous type symptoms (many without benefits). I am sure you remember Congressman Steve Buyer who graduated from the Citadel at Charleston. Steve Buyer was personal friends withUS Senator Lindsey Graham and Gov. Mark Sanford. Both Graham and Sanford belonged to my AF Reserve unit.

The VA here in Indiana at the Regional Office has no unearthly clue in what a Ready Associate Reservist does within the US Air Force. Our CHS AFB SC unit is ready for 100% mobilization within 24 hours of any worldwide contingency unlike the National Guard.

This is quite surprising since General Bob Nestor was the previous commander of the Reserve Officers Association and is from Indianapolis.

If the Legion and the VFW could get the VA here in Indy to pay the retroactive monies due to thousands of disabled combat Veterans just here in Indiana would be a start.

A friend of ours who is on active duty (USMC) from the west coast was sent here to Indy for treatment (to be with his family) at the VA Hospital, only be told that they don’t have enough chemo fluid to treat those with Leukemia. This just happened three weeks ago here at Indianapolis.  This problem alone should send chills through your body of what is being allowed to happenat our own VA Hospital.  Sincerely, Stephen Avery  (MOAA, ROA, Legion & VFW)

To: Senator Luke Kenley


I am writing this email to you to make you aware of several things I believe that you may be unaware of regarding certain combat Veterans who have very little benefits if any due to an unusual occurrence that took place during Desert Storm.  This letter and email is in response to your actions below:

Senate Republicans Vote to Cut Veterans Benefit

Indiana American Legion To Fight

Effort To Cut Veterans’ Benefit

Indianapolis – In a straight party line vote, the Republican members of the Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee voted to drastically reduce the long standing Indiana veterans benefit commonly referred to as “remission of fees”. This state benefit, since 1935, has provided state college tuition to the children of service connected disabled veterans living in Indiana. SB 577, authored by Senator Luke Kenley from Noblesville, is the bill, a portion of which, makes the cuts. The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS and the Disabled American Veterans as well as other veteran representatives testified before the committee that to cut this benefit in a time of war and with thousands of Indiana Guard and Reserve troops returning home from combat every month, is unthinkable. In spite of the warnings from the veterans’ groups, all of the Republican members of the committee voted to move forward with the legislation. The four Democrats on the committee voiced concerns similar to those raised by the veterans and all voted no. A companion bill asking for many of the same cuts is being authored in the Indiana House by Rep. Tom Dermody, Republican from LaPorte.

Republican members voting yes included:

Chairman Luke Kenley – Noblesville

Ed Charbonneau – Valparaiso

Phil Boots – Crawfordsville

Connie Lawson – Danville

Patricia Miller – Indianapolis

Ryan Mishler – Bremen

Tom Wyss – Fort Wayne

Brandt Hershman was absent

Democrat members voting against included:

John Broden – South Bend

Lindel Hume – Princeton

Earline Rogers – Gary

Karen Tallian – Portage

Our Air Force Reserve flying squadron now has a 60% death rate due to Desert Storm and currently we have 20 more terminally ill.

Our Air Force Reserve Aero. Med. unit now has a 90% death rate due to Desert Storm.

My former F-111F flying squadron has a 90% death rate due to Desert Storm.

This has all been covered up by several ranking officers within the military and others in ranking political positions (past and present) in Washington and right here in Indiana. I am sure you know some of those involved on a personal level.

I wasn’t promoted to general like many that were because I would not lie and go along with the cover-up.

Now some of the generals that went along with the cover-up and their messengers are very ill and or now dying due to this same exposure.

Our unit was exposed to: Sarin Gas/BZ Gas, Depleted Uranium, gallons of recalled and now banned DOD pesticides and radiation exposures from various emitters within our fighter and transport jets.

Many of our children had birth defects following our return from just one mission or more.

It has been determined that most of this exposure happened just at two on the Iraqi border and the other at Ramstein AB, Germany.

The VA still owes me nearly $40,000 in retroactive monies and has gone out of their way to destroy and or cover-up what has happened right here in Indianapolis.

Currently I receive nearly 1,000 emails every two weeks from Veterans asking for help. They are not asking their senators and or congressmen for help since they have realized that many of our United States elected officials are as corrupt as those involved in the initial cover-up of our units exposure.

Many of the VFW and Legion service officers are unfamiliar with what happened in Desert Storm, because many are still over whelmed with just fighting for the Vietnam Vets benefits among many others.

A major US Air Force IG investigation was held upon the request of other ranking US Senator’s and US Congressmen who are not from Indiana nor South Carolina. This report is over 1,000 pages in length and was earlier marked classified (many of the pages are still blacked out in their entirety).

Channel 13 did 4 reports (Investigative reports) just about my unit that I flew out of at CHS AFB SC who had many native son’s from Indiana serving for many years in this AF Reserve unit.

The Pentagon gave me credit for 33 years of service, but I only in fact served 30+ years as a Command Pilot from 1973-2003.

I am not sure where you are going with the elimination and or reductions of certain VA benefits even though it appears that you served briefly in the Vietnam War.

Personally, I think that you need to put an end to the arrogant expenditures of our tax money in areas such as Carmel and Fishers in the construction of round-d-bouts, palace like opera halls and get the chuck holes, sinking man hole covers and crime wave under control vs. attacking the Veterans who went off to war and came back to face many personal problems.

Currently those within our Air Force flying and medical unit’s are dying from: Brain Tumors (cluster’s), brain cancers, Leukemia, and or ALS/MS


My records were destroyed intentionally by the IG, OSI and others involved in the cover-up and now look what they came up with: 2 ft and 6 inches of double sided official military documents

It appears the government is making amends and taking steps to stop vets from getting lost in the system.

We (the Avery family) were forced to withdraw 99% of our IRA and 401k monies to pay for various medical bills since my airline that I earlier worked for at the time …..

conveniently went into bankruptcy twice following 9-11 to avoid paying various medical bills.

You may not even know about this, but many airline crews flew in the military CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) during Desert Storm into the AOR (Area of Responsibility) and are dying as well many with no benefits depending which airline they earlier work for.

I am not sure that this is 100% accurate, but this type of event described below took millions of dollars from our tax money to fund her private airline.

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on February 14, 2011, With Reads Filed under Veterans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to "STEVE AVERY: Indiana Republicans Vote to Cut Veterans Benefits"

  1. brenda cowie  March 16, 2011 at 5:33 am

    My husband needs both hips replaced we are being told that the wait is over a year or better. We get a letter stating that the dr is leaving he is the only surg in Montana that does replacements a Fort Harrison. So we wait longer. My husband served 4 years in the army but the army say he served only 1 year.

    The miltary says you need to go to war now and we go, but when the vet needs help thay have to wait. That’s cow.poo

  2. Helpful Citizen  February 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    There is a group on facebook dedicated to bringing awareness to this bill and also unifying efforts against it. Indiana SB 577 Vote NO!

  3. Wife Of Veteran  February 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “Those that voted to cut the benefits have never served in the military, most likely.
    Time for some home visits. It’s time for some IN YOUR FACE understanding with these republicans. We veterans did not cause the financial problems. The politicians cause these problems. There are other things they can stop to help pay the American debt.
    Start with foreign aid”

    I totally agree with your comment. They have no clue!

  4. maurice scott  February 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

    So in the next election maybe you won’t be fooled to vote against yourself

  5. US Veteran  February 15, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Those that voted to cut the benefits have never served in the military, most likely.
    Time for some home visits. It’s time for some IN YOUR FACE understanding with these republicans. We veterans did not cause the financial problems. The politicians cause these problems. There are other things they can stop to help pay the American debt.
    Start with foreign aid.

  6. Heather  February 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I am a Local Veterans Employment Representative in Indiana and work hard to find employment for all veterans, including those with barriers like felonies. One thing that is totally being missed in this bill is that just because a felon has an education, doesn’t mean they will be employable. As a matter of fact, I have many educated felons who still can’t find employment. Bad idea! Find funding for transition to employment opportunities, and find somewhere else to get the money. This SB is being hushed, so bring as much awareness to it as possible. I have created a group on facebook called Indiana SB 577 Vote No! Encourage as many people as possible to read the bill for themselves and then contact their state representatives. Senator Kenley and other republicans are punishing our veterans because there were many who supported Obama in the last election. Stand up and be counted! Don’t let them rob our vets!

  7. Dale R. Suiter  February 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Facts support conservative efforts to reduce Vet benefits. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and The Heritage Foundation posiiton on reducing the VA budget and cutting SSI for wounded and disabled Vets are proof. Republican votes in Indianna to stiff Vets is no surpirse. Wonder how many of “no” votes know how to do an about face according to FM 22-5. They certianly did one on the Vets.

    D.R. Suiter

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