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posted 30 Jul 2011, 12:26 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 31 Jul 2011, 10:08 ]


by Serviceman

Fear not my brothers and sisters: we comply because we are bound by an act that prevents us from walking side by side with you. We too have been betrayed. We have amongst us brothers and sisters who have signed and sworn to serve this great nation by air, land and sea.

Some of us are at retirement’s door and will be living on meagre pensions.  Fortunately some of us have youth in our favour. We, too, have lost and are losing all the programmes that were in place to develop the youths and agencies to deal with crime in this country (Milat, Mypart, CCC, SAUTT, SSA)

These programmes and agencies gave retired servicemen and women an opportunity to further give their skills and expertise to this beloved country. Brig. Sandy is just being true to form in the normal deceitful/mamaguying mode that he was known for in the military.

The state of the Defence Force is a clear example of the misery he has left behind. Don’t be fooled for a moment, Brig. Sandy did nothing for the service. His greatest achievement was staying with his family at Valley View Hotel for almost a year without any form of military appointment at the expense of the state, on his return from serving as military attaché in Washington

Citizens: while he continues to comfort the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues that his troops are ready, they should think again. Servicemen and women are not seeing travelling payments which is one of the benefits that we signed for on entering the service. 80% of us have not been paid travelling for over two years. In the case of a soldier coming from Arima travelling payments could be in the vicinity of $1800.00 a month.

Of course, the senior officers receive their share monthly and are given vehicles and drivers. Citizens, these vehicles are used most of the time to take senior officers’ children to school, their wives to work, the market and the grocery. Brig. Sandy can relate to this since he was part and parcel of the culture for years.

Servicemen and women have not received a salary increase since 2006. Being promised a $1000.00 allowance does nothing for the pensions of the hundreds of servicemen and women who will be retiring from the military within the next couple of years.

Servicemen and women will be at their posts when required; but take note our hearts will be with our brothers and sisters who are fighting for our cause. Brig. Sandy should realise that older servicemen and women know him. The younger ones who have never served with him are getting the message loud and clear that, under his Ministry, there will only be more hardship for servicemen and women in this country.

The signs are blatant: soldiers being brought before the courts; renting out weapons; involved in kidnappings; selling ammunition - the list goes on and on. This is the legacy Brig. Sandy has left behind. He should stop using the military to assert himself as being useful in Government. He is not and servicemen and women will never respect him. He should retire again and go and plant peas in Tobago, He looks physically strong enough to work the land. At least then we will get something from him.