Your Voice: Veteran leaves for greener pastures
by Michael Horn, Daegu, South Korea
Apr 05, 2013 | 3550 views | 8 8 comments | 116 116 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

I’m a former 11-year Tracy resident who voted with his feet after the November election in California. My military pension was taxed at the state’s former maximum rate of 10.3 percent, and the November election made the maximum rate increase of 13.3 percent retroactive to Jan. 1.

After 27 years of uniformed service and 16 more as a defense contractor, this was a slap in the face to me and my family — our sacrifices over the years have been enormous, and we took immediate action to save my future retirement.

We left dear friends and family

and moved to the state of New Hampshire, which has no state income tax and no state sales tax. At the age of 65.5, I suffered a heart attack coming out of a back operation (after moving), and a resulting triple bypass left me pondering life and possible medical retirement.

My employer held my position and even offered me an overseas assignment upon my recovery. So I’m writing you today from Camp Walker, Daegu, in South Korea, after a 54-day recovery from that triple-bypass.

Leaving the United States with my wife to work in a war zone is yet one more commitment I’ve made to the safety of the United States and the magnificent men and women in uniform I’ve once served with — and I now have nothing but pride and admiration for helping train to save their lives.

New Hampshire — my official state of residence — provides for its citizens, educates its children, clears snow and paves its roads to a standard unknown in California. Many may wonder how it does this. Its 430 legislators receive a salary of $100 a year and must work for a living. Other than per diem and expenses, the only perk is allowing them to speed to the state capital to cast votes. My concealed-carry handgun permit is good for four years (but not overseas) and cost me $10.

Working within tactical missile range of North Korea is not recommended employment for the faint-hearted, but my wife and I voted to do the greater good. The Korean people are gracious to a fault — there is no safer feeling than walking the streets of Daegu, day or night. I’m so sad I was unable to surround myself with my dear Tracy friends in retirement. I will miss them dearly.

Comments
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shelly13
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April 20, 2013
Also what is the problem with taking a job because you also like the benefits of that job? Everyone does it. Many people choose one job over another because of benefits whether they be bonuses, medical, vacation, a car or whatever. Why is this any different? Do you have a job with benefits? If you do...don't be a hypocrite.
midwestgirl
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April 20, 2013
Well shelly

Any moron who served from 1980 to 2001 was doing it for the money and the education since we NEVER DECLARED WAR in that time.

I know I remember those army ads YOU TO CAN TRAVEL THE WORLD AND get a EDUCATION just join the armed services and other people will pay your way. .

SERVICE M y @$$ it was for the money and education on other people dimes.

They are not protecting me since 911 did happen on our soil and our $700 billion a year armed services and the members did not stop 911 from happening with guys who bought their weapons at radio shake and airports for tickets.

Even when there are widespread

domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.



constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

YAY WE ARE #1 at one thing and that is WAR.
shelly13
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April 20, 2013
Get educated. You don't have to be in a major declared war to be of service in the military. Our military has dangerous missions on a regular basis. Here are some examples of our military's work you are obviously unaware of: Actually there are too many for me to list here so...

I don't usually like to use Wikipedia but they have a great list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations

Read and educate yourself. Yes we are #1 at war. We are number one in spending for our defense. Yes we put too much money there and not enough in other places but for you to disparage this man is still disgusting and unwarranted. He did a great service and until you go in the military and risk your life for his/mine/ours...shutty uppy with your personal attacks against him!:)
midwestgirl
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April 16, 2013
So now RETIRE GOVERNMENT WORKER is now going to take HIS GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS from the big bad government and take his ball to another state so he can keep more of his government retirement hand outs.

Claiming it is service but it was JUST A GOVERNMENT job supported by the rest of us who could make it in the real world. Who paid for for our own education along with supporting our own families along with supporting his from funds collected by the big bad government.

So with this letter are we to feel sad for California or feel better because another dead beat who could not make a living in the real world on his own dime has left the state good riddance.

Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

MERCENARY FORCES is what it is

"working or acting merely for money or other reward;"

EDUCATION for the service member and the family included

$40,000 sign up bonus just to keep them rejoining.

You are paid it is not a service but a JOB IN GOVERNMENT

Supporting the men and woman is calling them up for a real war not lies.
shelly13
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April 16, 2013
Yes his government job that has the highest risk of death in order for you to keep your freedoms. Including your right to free speech here. Your free speech that you use to spew hatred towards a person who has fought for you. Disgusting!
bobrod
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April 16, 2013
midwestgirl, If you are from the mid-west, it's a good thing you are talking that trash in good-ole commiefornia. Ive been to the "midwest" and that kind of talk is answered to by a good swift kick.....go back to your booring life, in your booring house, you have no idea what you are talking about, and if you did you wouldnt be saying it. I heard North Korea is a socialist country, why don't you move there.
bobrod
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April 05, 2013
Hay Mike, Thank you for your past and current service. Can't say I blame you for leaving-good luck in your future endevors, and for a speedy recovery. Vet to Vet, keep one eye on your 6, thats a dangerous part of the world now.
108MW
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April 05, 2013
First and foremost, thank you sir to you and your family for the selfless sacrifices you have made and continue to make even at the expense of little or no reward.

California needs a strong slap in her arrogant smug face for treating our vets like this! But we voted them in so we might want to start the flogging on ourselves.

Take good care and enjoy your time in New Hampshire where it sounds like you will be more appreciated. Be safe in North Korea. God speed.


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