Lawmaker Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) is trying to get the VA to strip benefits from any veteran who attended the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6th.
Gallego — who served in the military himself — says those veterans need to be punished.
He claims their actions are “not representative of the large population of American veterans.”
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Gallego made the request to withdraw their benefits in a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough.
“Many of the veterans and service members who attacked their own government actively and enthusiastically enjoy special benefits given to them by their fellow citizens,” Gallego declared.
“This situation is unjust. Any veteran or service member who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 forfeited their moral entitlement to privileged benefits at the expense of the people of the United States,” Gallego said
Gallego is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
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Gallego requested that McDonough work alongside the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to figure out all the veterans that took part in the Jan. 6 events.
Then he wants all of those veterans’ benefits to be revoked.
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It was previously reported by NPR that approximately 20% of the 140 people who were charged with crimes in connection with the January 6 riots have a military background.
Since that report was released, more than 300 people have been charged.
There are a few VA rules/laws that fit under the heinous acts that took place on January 6, 2021, at the Capital building that can strip Veterans who participated of their benefits.
These are found under the following document:
Department of Veterans Affairs 38 CFR Part 5 Matters Affecting the Receipt of Benefits; Proposed Rule
5.678 Forfeiture for subversive activity.
(2) Title 18, ‘‘Crimes and Criminal Procedure.’’
(vii) Section 2383, ‘‘Rebellion or insurrection.’’
(viii) Section 2384, ‘‘Seditious conspiracy.’’
(ix) Section 2385, ‘‘Advocating overthrow of Government.’’
When looking up these crimes under 18 USC, it then directs to section 6105 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits to expand on the consequences which state:
§6105. Forfeiture for subversive activities
(a) Any individual who is convicted after September 1, 1959, of any offense listed in subsection (b) of this section shall, from and after the date of commission of such offense, have no right to gratuitous benefits (including the right to burial in a national cemetery) under laws administered by the Secretary based on periods of military, naval, or air service commencing before the date of the commission of such offense and no other person shall be entitled to such benefits on account of such individual. After receipt of notice of the return of an indictment for such an offense the Secretary shall suspend payment of such gratuitous benefits pending disposition of the criminal proceedings. If any individual whose right to benefits has been terminated pursuant to this section is granted a pardon of the offense by the President of the United States, the right to such benefits shall be restored as of the date of such pardon.
The legal process needs to play out and if convicted those Veterans who took part in the riot should be stripped of their benefits as the law dictates; However, Veterans who were there that did not take part in the riot and instead were peacefully protesting should not be clumped in with those that did since just being at a location does not make you part of any criminal activity that may be going on.
Mervin Miles says
All who took part should lose something . You too a oath to defend the constitution not attack your own country the people are trader.
Duke Falcon says
The moron who belongs in a snake pit.
Ronnie A. Herrin says
I served in the US Army for 34 years, 312 days, retiring on my 60th birthday when by law I could no longer serve. Bless you, Congressman Gallego! I could not agree more. People who stormed our nation’s capital had much more in common with Vladimir Putin (or Donald Trump) than anyone I fought alongside in Desert Storm, or Iraqi Freedom, or during the 15 years I lived in Saudi Arabia as a member of Headquarters, Third Army.
Robbin Alexander says
I agree wholeheartedly because once a honorable service member always a service member who is responsible to uphold the constitution weather retired, honorable discharged or active! Thank you sir I commend you for their actions were an embarrassment to me being a retired service member!
OIF war veteran!
Paul solomon says
No benefits should be taking from any veteran who participated if they participated in a peaceful manner they should keep their benefits no veteran should be losing benefits for for for for defending what they believe is right where the country is right or wrong I am a disabled veteran and I saw three years
Carol Gerratana says
Treasonous acts committed by veterans or those employed by the government in any way should have special privileges stripped. We swore an oath upon serving our country.
SSG. Army veteran, Vietnam, 7 years
If a veteran is convicted of an insurrection action, then removal of benefits may be in order. You start removing earned benefits from former military, it will be a slippery slope. They will remove earned benefits for anything the communist left deems actionable. Those that hate the military and law enforcement will be launching law suits to remove benefits just for supporting the 2nd amendment. The veteran would be financially devastated defending him/herself just to win the suit.
Veterans, your benefits are earned for serving your country under orders from POTUS.. As it is, you have to justify your qualifications and wait to receive the benefits.
Waving a flag, carrying a sign or supporting a former POTUS is not a reason to lose benefits. But, you can best believe the leftist will take you to court. They hate what you stand for.
VN & Desert Storm Vet. USN 63-94.
Michael P McDowell says
I agree. We as Veterans do have a right to protest our government, not attack or attempt to overthrow our government. They should punished. Losing all their benefits that may be harsh, jail time.
Michael , Pat, McDowell
Current VA regulations state that benefits can only be taken away from Veterans if they are in police custody by either being under arrest or incarcerated and only during the period of that arrest or incarceration. No medical care will be granted during the time of arrest or incarceration and disability compensation is cut during the duration one is incarcerated. However, once released from arrest or incarceration all prior benefits resume, medical care and compensation.
Despite the heinous acts done on January 6, 2021, at the Capital the VA has rules in place already for Veterans who commit crimes. They do not strip Veterans who are incarcerated for other crimes for the rest of their life but only for the period they spend locked up. Those Veterans involved in the attack on the Capital will go through a trial and if found guilty will have to face the consequences which could mean time in prison which would strip them of their VA medical care benefits and reduce compensation for the time they spend incarcerated but not for the rest of their life. It has been decided that even if a Veteran commits a crime that lands them in prison, they should not be denied the benefits they earned by serving in the military for the rest of their life but only until they have paid their debt to society and once released the benefits a Veteran was entitled to prior to being incarcerated fully resume.
Joanne McCormack says
Pssst……my brother is a vet and yesterday he put a sign up supporting Trump. Stop his benefits immediately.
Leo (retired federal law enforcement officer) says
Military veterans earned their benefits. If they committed crimes at the capitol or elsewhere, they should be held accountable as every US citizen or illegal alien within our country’s borders. Whether that crime is assault, damage to government property, theft, etc. these people should be prosecuted just like everyone else.
Because someone is/was a retired pipe fitter or retired truck driver, masonic lodge member, air traffic controller or postal worker, Kiwanee, police officer, fire fighter or (insert affiliation here) is not a sufficient reason to revoke earned benefits. Let’s first charge suspected law breakers, allow them a trial, and if convicted, punish them like other members of our society. Come on people, use your heads and a little common sense.
Paul Gray says
They were all Americans… If veterans loose their benefits for their part in the attack what about the rest of the people that were there? What about the politicians that supported and incited the attack? They are all just as guilty as the vets. What they did was wrong and all of them need to be dealt with equally. Friends, neighbors, politicians, and yes, veterans who participated in any way should share the same responsibility. All or none… Did they believe in what they did that day enough to pay the price for doing it, or was it merely attempt to humor an idiot in a diaper! Paul
Anthony Vittatoe says
A prisoner on death row that is a veteran is still eligible for burial rights in va cemetery and ceremony. So stripping benefits is wrong they were wrong but those benefits were earned for past service.
Smh…so wait. One pours their life into military service, goes through extreme life changes that will indeed impact any individual for the rest of their life, decide to protest and now they want to target that individual’s potential livelihood? The veterans were presented those benefits for the time served, not for their future actions. If they broke the law then punish them, they can do their time and resume life. Just because they receive benefits does not mean that they should become puppets.
SFC. Carlson( Retired)
All the vets that participated in the attack on the Capital on 1/6/2021, took a OAT to PROTECT and DEFEND the Constitution and its LAWS! Of you for one feel like like they were PATRIOTS etc. Wake up this is not 1812! They should not be entitled to receive VA benefits etc PERIOD!
Aaron E. Canez says
A veteran that wants to ‘display their civil rights’ by damaging other citizens’ property is: 1) outrageously stupid, 2) deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law and 3) does not merit the honor/responsibility of being a true veteran. To me, attacking the Capitol is, essentially, sedition/revolt; the very thing we raised our right hand to protect and defend against. The US political system is not perfect. Nonetheless, as a whole, we accept our mistakes and improve VIA THE VOTE. Although I give credit to their sour grapes, wanting to destroy the very heart of our civilization deserves equal scrutiny. Those ‘veterans’ must be stripped of their status as well as all that goes with the honor. We must be better and set the example of what it means to be a US citizen
SSG (Ret) 74D(H), 96B, 96S; 42 years Active, Reserve, Mobilized
Glenwood McLamb says
I totally agree!! Take those benefits away. That was an act of treason. In-American
Chris Shand says
As a U.S. NAVY Veteran of over 20 years; I strongly disagree. Veteran’s benefits, once earned, should not be summarily stripped away as punitive action by a non-judicial department within the Executive branch (the VA is under the Executive branch). There must be due process for ALL of the accused (innocent until proven guilty) and any penalties or judgments ultimately determined by a court of law must be metered out equally and impartially. To strip away benefits earned by a specific class of citizen (Veteran) without the ability to apply the same measure to other citizens found guilty in a court of law for the same infraction demonstrates intentional bias against that group (Veterans).
The illegal actions of a few individuals acting of their own volition should not be allowed to cast discredit upon Veterans as a group. Singling these individuals out because they had served is an attempt to discredit and cast doubt on the character of ALL Veterans thru “guilt by association” in the court of public opinion and only further feeds into the narrative of a quasi-military coup or insurrection conspiracy theory.
The riotous, illegal actions of a small fraction (300 charged?) of the THOUSANDS of people present at the Capitol building are disturbing and should be addressed … in a court of law.
To demand that benefits earned by those who have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States; (quite possibly with their very life), be stripped away without the protections guaranteed under that very Constitution; is in fact, obscene.
Veteran’s benefits are EARNED; many times by paying an extremely high price by the Veteran and their families. They are NOT to be revoked summarily because they may (or may not) have done something distasteful in another aspect of their civilian, private lives.
This is a VERY slippery slope. Today it’s a call to revoke Veteran’s benefits over the events at the Capital building. Tomorrow it could be withheld/revoked for late or unpaid taxes, outstanding tickets or other misdemeanors.
If this is truly the path lawmakers want to go down; then I submit that EVERY individual that participated in the destructive riots, looting, arson, rape, assault and homicide that plagued numerous cities across this great nation in the last year be immediately stripped of ALL State & Federal benefit programs such as medicaid, medicare, WIC and all other forms of publicly funded or subsidized social welfare. If these individuals cannot respect society, then society should not support them. While these benefits are not earned through personal determination, hard work and sacrifice for the greater good; (as Veteran’s benefits are earned), it would be a step in the correct direction to balancing the scales of what is just and fair if they insist on this.
James Rebello says
Insurrection is not “free speech” guaranteed under the Constitution! I did not serve 3 years in the Army to protect American Rights and Values to have our duly ELECTED Government officials threatened by seditionists! Blinded by Fox News and Trump does not excuse this awful behavior. They need to be punished and forfeiture of Government payments IS WARRENTED!
Donn Morris says
“Equal Justice Under the law”! Remember!! If you are going to add extra punishment to vets, you should also strip guilty civilians who never served of their Social Security and Medicare benefits!
Michele Ragan says
My father was retired Master Sgt in the Army and served 30 years. Was in the national guard before that for 2 years. It’s ridiculous that this would even be considered! They absolutely had a right to be there and protest! If they were involved criminally then they will be punished. I help to pay for their benefits and they absolutely should NOT have them taken away. We are giving illegal lawbreakers stimulus money and millions in hotel costs. These people have done nothing for our country except break our laws so no I don’t think the vets that were there on the 6th should lose their benefits! Shame on these “lawmakers”.
I disagree, we are all americans. We have a right to say how we feel about the government. The government gets away with alot. Veterans have a right too, we are all Americans, they served our country, and fought well. They should not lose their benefits for saying how they feel, I believe it’s wrong. Im’ married to a veteran. They are human just like everyone else. But don’t tear away their benefits, because they did they thought was right, The government gets away with alot too. They don’t lose anything. But they are human too just like us. NO one should lose anything if they believe what they did was right. The Government does not listen to the people of the US they do what they want, no matter what. WE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE HEARD , But like i said the government doesn’t care about our feelings. WE ARE ALL HUMAN.
Gregory Haught says
Couldn’t agree more …. take their perks for their seditious acts. Taking the oath to protect the constitution was one of the proudest moments of my life. Don’t pay these neoNazi thugs but maybe do a study on their brains to see what is wrong with them and anyone else that believes the BIG LIE.
Gerald Mortz says
NO WAY What happened on Jan. 6th was not done by all the Veterans that where there so punishing all because of a few is totally wrong. Stripping the Veterans of their benefits is also wrong . Last I knew we still had freedom of speech and the right to assemble ,we cannot control what others do that ‘s not our purpose for being there, but i do agree that the ones that where stepping over the rules of a peaceful demenstration should be punished ,and only them.. I don’ t believe in pnishing all because of a few and who is to say they where all vets or even vets?
How about anyone on Medicaid or any form of gov retirement?
leave the Vets alone unless every member in congress that has attacked the constitution is punished accordingly
Ron Monaco says
*Typical Marine Lifer!!!*
Still citizens regardless and therefore entitled to ALL rights of any ‘Legally Charged’ individual
Vietnam Veteran w/ 6 yrs. Active duty.
Andre Johndon says
I Agree , 30 years Active Duty Marine Corps MGySgt 72-02 !
I agree, those Vets who were specifically involved with the attack on Congress and by trial were found guilty of these attacks should have their VA benefits impacted. This, as long as those BLM, ANTIFA and other Leftist hoods who attacked, terrorized and destroyed our cities during this Spring and Summer with their rain of lawlessness and anti-American activity are equally prosecuted and punished.
Daniel Purcell says
What about those veterans and politicians that supported the BLM insurrection in Minnesota where they rioted, looted and burned Minneapolis, and those veterans that supported Antifa in Portland? What about those veteran who are so quick to charge fellow veterans with the benefit of evidence and trial by jury?
A veteran is still a resident of the United States. As such, a veteran also enjoys the rights and freedoms of every American citizen. That includes the right of free speech and the right to assemble. Should laymen who participated in the melee on Jan. 6 lose any of their constitutional rights or freedoms? What is fair is fair. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Bill Marvin says
Strongly disagree. These veterans have egregious broken the law and should be punished, however permanently stripping of their VA benefits is far too severe a punishment. I’m sure that most, if not all, have served their country well.
I hope the same applies to politicians that were involved.
Andra Cornish says
I’m a vet and I agree.
A.D. Holland says
A million times in agreement with the law makers…..
That was a treasonous act and any member of service (MOS) from military or law enforcement community benefits should be revoked…..
( They’re All cowards )
Be well stay safe
SFC John Braamse (Retired) says
I agree. When you swear an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, then attack that very Constitution, you should not be entitled to any benefits.
Dominick Cammarata says
Make sure this “vet” is not elected again!
How about adding vets who were involved in social disorder all over the USA?
Daniel Purcell says
This will never post, but for the record, no real veteran would ever promote fascist ideas like Ruben Gallego. Veterans have a right to protest in the country the have defended with their lives. Gallego can go pound sand. Signed: A disgruntled Iraq Campaign combat NCO