The American Legion believes the Obama administration has broken its promise to keep America's "Armed Forces the best trained, best led, best-equipped fighting force in history" by cutting the 2013 U.S. Department of Defense budget by 8 percent from 2012.

"To keep the best fighting force, you must recruit and retain the best people," National Commander Fang Wong said. "By increasing, and in some cases, quadrupling health insurance fees for military retirees, you are sending a powerful message to those in uniform and to their families that their decades of service and sacrifice are unappreciated. Moreover, most believe that the Retirement Modernization Commission that this budget recommends will lead to a 401(K)-type plan, which will encourage people to leave the military for a safer and less demanding career in the private sector. 'Grandfathering' benefit cuts merely tells tomorrow's veterans that their service isn't as valuable as those who served before them."

Wong, a Vietnam War veteran, added that he fully understands the fiscal realities that Washington faces. "America has a debt crisis," he said. "But no debt is higher than what America owes its veterans, who already sacrificed years of service, lost family time, physical injury and the comforts of home so that the other 90 percent of Americans can continue to live in freedom. Throughout our nation's history, every time we cut defense we paid for it with American blood."

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