Posted by: shannynmoore | April 17, 2009

Governor Palin, Support The Troops!

1942 was a long time ago. It was the year both my parents were born. It was the year the Alaska Territorial Reserve was born in response to the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands. It was the year 6,368 First Alaskans, became a group of soldiers known as “The Eskimo Scouts.” Men and Women served as the first line of defense protecting 5,200 miles of Territorial coastline.

In 1947, the group was disbanded. They were given no veterans’ benefits or recognition for their remarkable service. Several of them pushed for Statehood years later and even attended the Constitutional Convention. But most went back to their mostly subsistence lives.

In 2000, Senator Ted Stevens passed a bill awarding veterans’ status to the ATR. Records had not been kept, and it was very difficult to find the survivors. It took four years before the first group of ATG applicants, 23 solders, was able to receive discharge certificates. Over the years, through the efforts of Bob Goodman, a retired Air Force Colonel, and Alaska State Senator Charlie Huggins, about 150 Alaskans were given honorable discharges and benefits.

Because of a “glitch” in the system, the Department of Defense pulled the funding for the remaining 26 Alaskan veterans. Senators Murkowski and Begich were quick to secure reinstatement, but it is not yet law. As a result, these veterans, now in their late 80’s and early 90’s, have not received any payments for several months. The Alaska Senate Finance Committee introduced SB 89: “An Act relating to retirement benefits for members of the Alaska Territorial Guard; and providing for an effective date.”

It was a unanimous vote of support. The fiscal note was $10,437 a month for up to eight months, about $550 a month per veteran. The final draft was transmitted to Governor Palin on April 8, 2009.

On April 9, 2009 the governor put out a press release after signing a proclamation declaring the day as Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day. The governor then ordered POW/MIA flags to be flown in honor and memory of American men and women who have placed themselves in harm’s way and faced the horrors of combat. “The price paid by POW/MIA soldiers in defense of liberty is worthy of our highest gratitude and most solemn remembrance,” Governor Palin said. “On this day and always, they are in our thoughts and prayers. We will never forget them or their service.”

She signed the proclamation, but not the new law that would provide needed funds to the remaining members of the Alaska Territorial Guard.

On April 14, 2009, the Alaska State Legislature dedicated a committee room in the State Capitol to honor the service of the members of the ATG. Sarah Palin attended Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s reception in Anchorage that morning then traveled to Juneau. Several of the surviving members of the “Eskimo Scouts” were there as well as remaining family members.

Sarah Palin showed up. She may have even had some punch. However, the governor did not sign SB 89. The emergency funds from the Army had paid their last payment in March. The April payments won’t be distributed until after the bill is signed.

The governor then got on a plane to Indiana to attend an anti-choice fundraiser.

The veterans went home.

As an Alaskan, I am humbled by the service of these stoic servicemen and by the memory of the men and women who stood with them. I watched several in a 4th of July parade once. I was touched by their service, and their silence for so many years. They were fighting to defend our home, our waters, and our lives.

It is shameful they are waiting for funds. They waited more than 50 years for acknowledgment of sacrifice. They shouldn’t wait a day longer for the traveling, base-pandering Governor with a slow pen, who, this week, once again, put her political ambition ahead of real Alaskans-heroic veterans-with real needs.

As of today, we have a chance to thank .4% of the original heroes.

Tomorrow, it could be less.



  1. This sucks as does Palin. What happened to all that Patriotism she proclaimed during the last campaign.

  2. I think we can afford to spend $80,000+ on this. Heck, we are saving about that same amount by not having an AG in place right now.

  3. all i can say is son is a vetreran.jusy WOW.what the hell is wrong with her.

  4. That woman is disgraceful. How do you all put up with her nonsense?

  5. Thank you, Shannyn, for bringing attention to this important issue. These vets deserve immediate respect and care. Sarah Palin should be ASHAMED.

  6. Shannyn,
    I guess you know what my feeling are about this.

    This woman has NO conscience.

    Gee! I wonder IS Todd a Vet?

  7. This is absolutely atrocious!!! These veterans deserve at least that and much, much more. But, then again, I am not surprised that she has, once again, put her own self-serving needs before the needs of Alaska or its’ people. Just when you think she can’t possibly sink any lower……….

  8. That s truly sad, and disrespectful towards those Vets!
    Shame on the GINO!

  9. Another example of GINO not doing her job. She had two opportunities. What is she waiting for? I hope Bob Poe gets *that* on the news too.

    It’s not costing Alaska anything. Or….is it that maybe they’re…..native alaskans? As in Native Alaskans? I know Palin claims some Native blood but I can’t help thinking sometimes she really acts in a bigoted fashion towards Alaska’s native community.

  10. WTF?!?! No. I don’t even scream that as a question. I scream that in a damnation kind of tone. W.T.F!!!!!

    Honest to GOD! Was she NOT the freaking VP candidate out there claiming Obama had NO respect for our service men and women? Wasn’t SHE out as the BIGGEST supporter of and empathizer of the sacrafices the men and women were making? After all, her boy did enter the service. And she was all TOO happy to play the part of the defacto “Mama Bear to ALL US Soldiers”.

    Calling her a hypocrite isn’t cutting it anymore, folks. Saying she’s a little out of her league doesn’t do this shameful excuse of a governor due justice.


  11. She is a complete hypocrite. She doesn’t like Gays…Natives…blacks….or homosexuals….

    time for a recall…maybe on Juneteenth…

  12. Does SP even sign her OWN per diam statements to get paid big money to live at home? Bet she would squawk like a headless turkey if anyone dared to take any of HER perks and fringe benefits that she hasn’t even worked for – unlike those Alaska Territorial Reserve VETERANS!

    I do think SP’s getting beyond “erratic behavior”, it’s truly getting into Mental Issues. The Adults seem to be trying to keep AK’s boat on an even keel, but they’ve got a toddler GINO working as a bottleneck, drilling holes in the boat. Unfreaking believable.

  13. Palin’s supporters have been cheering her for going after the Federal Government to re-instate the funds. If you listen to seefourpee or reddddstate, she’s a veteran-loving hero and the ‘Feds’ are profligate and evil.

    This information sure paints a different picture, now, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for all you do, Shannyn.

  14. I think this is truly awful that they are being shunned like this. Murkowski and Begich (sp) both went to work quickly so these Vets wouldn’t lose income. The military paid them through a emergency fund for so many months which would have been enough time for the Government to pass legislation to cover these Vets.

    Does the Governor think that the military will stick its neck out for any reason and on top of that make the gesture of paying these individuals out of an emergency fund. So now with the good faith of the Military, Murkowski, Begich and the others that nursed this legislation it as been all for nothing. Unbelievable, just unbelievable even whether you are for or against the Governor it is time that we stand up for the rights of these Vets and say this is not acceptable.

  15. What a shame. I don’t get this behavior. If she truly expects to have support in 2012, you’d think her handlers would be covering all of these bases.
    This is why you have Aides – to let you know “this must be signed”, to counsel you to do the right thing, to make sure you go to the right place.

    The veterans in this country are simply pawns for the Republican party. This is sad but true. Those who make it home, face an uphill battle just to get the benefits they are owed.

    Will the ADN cover this? (What WAS I thinking?)

  16. Why the heck hasn’t she signed the bill???? Doesn’t she understand stalling and making a mess of this will only make more bad publicity and more hard feelings?

    She’s showing her ignorance. So now she has it comin. Get the word out folks, looks like she has to be forced or shamed into doing the right thing. Get the word out for these vets who deserve to be treated far better than this!

    SIGH Pitiful.

  17. Shannyn, have you sent this to Keith and Rachel?

  18. Even if she says she didn’t realise the bill needed signing, it doesn’t say much for her choice of aides.

    I would suggest to the Palinbots that they make another choice, this turkey just ain’t gonna fly.

  19. Shannyn, thank you for another eloquent and compassionate post on a topic worthy of discussion for all of us. The Republicans seem to think it’s ok to claim “the troops” as their mascot but have never been known to actually support any who survive their service.

    This is just another example. Up to now, they never have to answer for their actions.

  20. I find this so sad.
    I hear so much loud cry for
    “Support the Troops”
    but for some reason it always seems to be followed a quiet not really) it amazes me.

    I would happily make a donation to help these fine soldiers while they wait to see if our Governor comes out of her “adulation of me” stupor. And signs this bill. Does anyone know if there is a place I could make this donation?

  21. So here is my question – every job that I have had comes with a Job Description Manual detailing the expectations/job duties for that particular position.

    Didn’t anyone do a “Governor’s Manual” – it could have useful information like:

    When you receive a bill, it is your responsibility to SIGN IT.

    Sorry but she’s a total dunce.

  22. When you consider her treatment of Natives in general, and her insults to Native Leaders such as Nick Tucker, this is not surprising behavior form Palin.

    It is however deplorable and disgusting.

    Can the ATG veterans sue her for denial of services, lost interest on savings, or any other financial burdens caused by her delay?

  23. Who is going to take the lead on a recall petition?

  24. Better yet – who in Alaska is going to step up to the plate and do ANYTHING to stop her siege on humanity?

  25. mlaiuppa……..I would guess that’s the tough question, because whoever brings it on is the one or group who will be blasted full on in the media for attempting it, so who puts this forth, AK Natives? AK dems? AK citizens? AK lawmakers?

  26. […] Governor Palin, Support The Troops! 1942 was a long time ago. It was the year both my parents were born. It was the year the Alaska Territorial Reserve was […] […]

  27. They were recognized by the Federal Government and it was the Federal Government that “pulled the plug,” on their benefits. It’s not an Alaskan or Palin problem, but a Federal Government problem.

    **************NOTE FROM SHANNY**********************************
    The Alaska Territorial Guard defended Alaska. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski fixed the federal glitch, but have to wait for the entire budget to pass. THESE VETERANS SHOULD NOT BE LABELED BY YOU OR ANYONE ELSE AS A PROBLEM. There should be immediate action to bridge the gap.

  28. Tom…….isn’t it a Palin problem if she isn’t willing to sign a bill to correct the problem?

  29. Well written Ms.Moore.
    I agree, they should be paided for their service to us all.

  30. Tom, why do you hate veterans?
    “The governor issued the proclamation but didn’t sign the bill”.
    Perhaps she just doesn’t actually know how to write?

    Of course it was a Government glitch but it is no one but Palin’s fault that she didn’t sign the bill. Bills go to the governor to sign to put them into law.

    Now sonny, go drink that Kool-Aid.

  31. I do not like Palin, but….

    It is a Federal government problem in that they were paying these vets and then pro-Bush bureaucrats decided that the Federal legislation did not adequately address this problem. Our US Senators have attempted to address this problem with clarifying legislation but it has not moved through Congress fast enough.

    It becomes Palin’s problem because our State legislature has wisely decided that these WONDERFUL veterans should not suffer because of bureaucratic wrangling over language. They passed the bill and are willing to say this is an appropriate state expenditure to make sure these veterans do not suffer while waiting for the Feds to get it right.

    Laws become laws whether Palin signs them or not. She specifically has to veto a bill to stop it unless the legislature overrides her veto.

    What this is is a catch-22 for Palin. If she signs the bill then she will be accused of wasteful spending, picking up the wrong tab, etc. When she doesn’t sign it, she is not supporting the troops and veterans. By allowing this to become law by not signing does not give her base ammunition or reason to question and criticize her. She wins by keeping her base happy because she didn’t sign it, but didn’t really oppose veterans either…..

    Personally, I think she needs to sign this bill. It is honoring our veterans and making sure the right thing happens — they don’t lose their rightful income. Palin needs to then work with our US Senators to get Federal legislation passed to make the payments retroactive and to repay the State of Alaska for its expenditures and to make sure these veterans are covered by the Federal government, as they should be.

    Bottom line, these veterans should not lose because of bureaucratic squablling and missteps.

    *******************NOTE FROM SHANNY***************************
    BW, The law will go in to affect without her signature. She can veto the spending and has given no indication of what she is going to red pen which creates a giant waste of time for many bills.
    Your bottom line is the same one I have. The politicization of care for veterans of ANY war is vulgar. The legislature didn’t pass this law to trick SP. If a conservative voter won’t vote for her because she signed a bill to fund World War 2 heroes, they should join the Taliban. The fiscal note of 8 months is $83,500…..the RNC spent more on hair and make up.

  32. And if the state pays them, what becomes of their rightful VA benefits, shoulfd the federal government correct their error. They are nullified and thus the state is now on the line for their medical care. There is so much more to veterans benefits than jus’ a check.

    **********NOTE FROM SHANNY**********
    Their VA benefits will be returned as soon as the Federal Budget is passed.

  33. What is wrong with that woman?

  34. […] Will she…talk about the war veterans and heroes of the Alaska Territorial Guard whose benefits she delayed? […]

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