This is in response to the letter about out-of-state residents losing their permanent fund dividends. I am an Alaska resident, who in our country's time of need stood up for what I believed in and committed six years of my young life to the United States military. I find it appalling to think that you are blaming military members for the majority of these acts of fraudulent claims. If that's the case, why don't you go as far as blaming senior citizens who go Outside for a couple month-long vacations every year in the winter to visit their grandchildren. It's ridiculous.
Mr. Seaton's bill has good intentions, but let's says a young high school graduate decides he's going to go and serve his country. And he has been in the service for three years and this whole time he isn't collecting the dividend because that's what the Good Samaritan Mr. Seaton thought was a good idea. So, back to the story, for the past three years he isn't collecting the permanent fund, and then the legislators finally get their hands on the permanent fund. Does little Johnny still get the money that Mr. Seaton promised? Do you actually think that Mr. Seaton or any other politician is going to stand up and say we owe little Johnny for the past three years he was serving our country? I could also be way out of line by saying I think little Johnny wouldn't be the only one to get hosed by our friend Mr. Seaton's Good Samaritan bill.
I don't know what military members Mr. Seaton is talking to, but it sounds like they are reservists and guard members. It is easier for these members of the military to be in the state all year because they are the weekend warriors and they don't go anywhere unless it's an emergency such as Operation Iraqi Freedom. Being an active duty military member, I am still required to come back to Alaska at least once a year for at least 72 hours. My entire family lives in Alaska; it is my only home. I have been fortunate to see my family this past year for a couple of weeks, I have some friends that weren't as lucky, and instead of getting to see their families, they were fighting in Iraq. So, by passing this bill, you're going to tell us fellow residents who are in the service that you're going to hold onto our dividends while we are away and then give them back to us just as soon as we return. And for those who don't return (those that perish protecting your freedoms) let me take a stab, you're just going to say, "Oh here you go little Johnny's family, here is the money your husband was due." I think not.
In regards to pushing this bill through, is it going to stop all the fraudulent claims? I don't think so, but what I do think is maybe "Juneau Empire" should think about leaving Alaska and moving to France.
Matthew Burkick, Sterling military member
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