Top Spouse Pledges Vet Support

dempsey flowers

The Army must do everything it can to prevent an increase in the number of homeless veterans, said Deanie Dempsey, wife of the nation’s top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, March 3.

Gen. Dempsey “says, we can’t break faith with families, we can’t break faith with veterans because, with the budget going down, if we find veterans that don’t have jobs, don’t have housing, it’s incumbent on us to not break faith with them,” said Dempsey in response to an audience question after her speech at’s March 3 Spouse Summit. “I don’t know what those numbers will be, and I can’t say whether the homeless number will go up or down, I don’t know. I can tell you that we’re all watching it, and I give you my word for my husband because it’s his word, that we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that is avoided.”

The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposes to cut more than 100,000 troops from the ranks as the Defense Department looks to save roughly $487 billion in the next ten years.

Dempsey also urged the military spouses gathered at the conference, held in Arlington Virginia, to keep telling their stories in order to gain more attention to the challenges facing military spouses.

“As we work to address these issues of family needs, health care, employment, I believe the more and more people are starting to realize that this group represents a tremendous source of strength,” said Dempsey. “You are resilient, accomplished, experienced men and women who possess strong values and an even stronger work ethic and you are the best teammates anybody could have . . .  Keep telling your story, tell it to each other, tell it to the greater American public.”


Guest blogger John Reed is a reporter for where he regularly blogs about technology issues at Defense Tech.

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11 Comments on "Top Spouse Pledges Vet Support"

  1. Pave Low John | March 4, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    So General and Co-General Dempsey promise to do everything they can to prevent veterans and current military families from getting screwed over? Pardon me while I have an bitter laugh or two. There is nothing, not a single thing those two can do to hold back Obama, Panetta and the legions of crooks and liars in Congress if they decide to 'break faith' with the military. They might even stoop to, oh, I don't know, jacking up Tricare copay costs. But that would be crazy talk.

    You want to impress the troops? Do what General Fogleman, former USAF Chief of Staff did in the 1990s when he realized he was working for people completely devoid of honor. But I have a feeling that won't be the case, so spare us the talk about what can and can't happen.

  2. I'm always skeptical of the CJCS. The past several have been mere sycophants for the POTUS and seem to have lacked the courage to speak out. My opinion has changed in regards to General Dempsey. He seems to be the real thing and I respect him a great deal.

  3. What would help a little would be Direction. Many service people that have followed the daily directions of the command are unable or unwilling to be self-directed or self motivated toward goals that would improve thier situation. You are making a good start.

  4. Martin F. Stewart | March 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

    Words are cheap! What really counts is what the Pentagon is proposing to Congress. The preliminary proposals concerning Health Care and other critical Veteran Issues do not look promising, and they definately seem to contradict what Mrs. Dempsey is saying publicly.

    • Not if you have strong character. If you do not have a strong moral character which the General has in
      my opinion, which I am entitled to have in our country then as you say, words are cheap. That is
      your opinion which you are entitled to. As a retiree, my TRICARE is increasing in cost. I have a family
      to support also. I do not like the DOD plan to cut our military. With more threats to our nations security, we need a larger force. Not a smaller one.

      • The force cuts are a normal part of draw down after military operations. To think that the op-tempo could have kept going on without ramifications is naive at best. Now if the pentagon and DoD go at cuts like they did after Desert Shield and Storm then we are in trouble, but it seems that there is a deliberate approach to this draw down so as to not gut out the force as it did before.

        I am close to retirement myself but it does not take a lot to see that TRICARE would have gone up anyway. Think about it it has been over 15 years since any significant hike. At the rate both DV's and retirees are growing it was just a matter of time.

        I my opinion retirement or getting out is something that needs to be planned and not to wait around for. Some of my soldiers from my last unit did just that, waited in stead of planned. There seems to be this mindset of things just happening for them because they served their country. This is just not true, in fact you can hold a SECRET security clearance and still not get hired on after the military because of a DUI in your past, not mine but a friend of mine. It does seem odd but still this happens.

        So would the DoD be better off funding programs through the VA that ensured soldiers planned for there ETS or retirement? Surely then it would make sense to force soldiers to put away for their future and that of their families, if they have one. Or is ti better to keep TRICARE rates relatively lower and down size the force. You can only pick one and the bad comes with either choice, but we learn to adapt.


  5. Pentagon's actions prove otherwise.

  6. WE ALREADY HAVE A PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS VETERANS and THAT program is failing because of NO CHECKS and BAANCES or Quality Control measures put in place to ASSURE THE VETERANS GET THE BENEFIT of this program and not THOSE RUNNING IT!

    This is just more political grandstanding to create yet more committees, more studies and more duplicate services and waste of more BILLIONS of Taxpayer Dollars.

    Why am I not surprised that the Veteran's Grant Per-Diem Program wasn't mentioned in this story?

  7. Hmm, last time I checkED, military retirees are veterans also! Dempsey, the Service Chiefs, and Congress seem to have forgotten that fact with their proposed significant increase in TRICARE and TFL fees/copays/deductables. For those approaching 65, they will find that their med care will go up to $1200 per year per person (retiree & spouse is $2400 this year). Medicare fees are expected to rise due to Congressional action to "hold" medicare healthcare cost down with military retirees paying even more with TFL fees on top of medicare fees & new deductables for TFL.

    My 1964 $78/month E-1 entry pay was considered OK in those days since we were also promised free med care for us and our family until we died if we served 20 years. I stayed 27 years – sort of dumb wasn't it? knowing what I know now. Why would any military member stay for 20 years knowing that they will be cut off from TRICARE Prime until they reach 60! The benefit was earned – the hard way.

  8. Last half of my comment: Congress caused this problem by reducing the number of military hospitals, clinics, and military doctors over the years and bringing in CHAMPUS and now TRICARE. They OUTSOURCED and it has been proven over and over again that outsourcing to civilian world is not cheaper, it is more expensive. The govt contracts include money for contractor retirement plans, basic cost of services and equipment (plus an additionally called plusup for maint, repair, replacement), and a high overhead cost charged by the contractor for facilities and related costs plus money to administer the contract). That is how the Congress & previous/current Presidents put us where we are today and now they want the military (not Federal) retirees to bail them out again! Time to say enough is enough!!

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