- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I just read your response (July 30, 2007) to Donald about ROTC [Reserve Officers Training Corps] Summer Camp counting for Civil Service Retirement. My problem is that I do not have pay voucher or orders documenting my attendance. DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Services] and ROTC Brigade haven’t been able to help. Do you know where I can get copies of required information?

Also, will ROTC Summer Camp count toward reserve retirement?

Thank you,
John Z.
Via the Internet

Dear John:

ROTC Summer Camp does not count toward reserve retirement.

As to records, they should be retained at the reserve personnel command of the service you were with during your ROTC period.

Shaft notes

• The Sarge joins the United Spinal Association in their criticism of New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently made incredibly offensive remarks directed at wheelchair users who want greater access to the city’s yellow taxi fleet.

Mr. Bloomberg stated that “it’s too dangerous” for wheelchair users to hail a cab in New York City and that most drivers would “pretend they didn’t see them.” He also said wheelchair users “sit too far from the driver to establish a dialogue” and therefore “they would not tip well.”

It’s time to call out the offensive remarks of Mr. Bloomberg by showing your support for a fully-accessible New York City taxi fleet. Sadly, only 231 of the city’s 13,000 taxis are accessible to wheelchair users. The New York Daily News is taking an online poll regarding the desirability of accessible taxis.

United Spinal has advocated for accessible taxis in New York City for many years. But this fight reaches far beyond the city’s front lines. If New York City creates an equitable system of accessible public transportation then other cities both small and large will follow.

Background reading on this issue can be found at http://www.spinalcord.org/push-for-cab-access-grows/ and http://www.spinalcord.org/key-to-hailing-a-cab-in-nyc-tip-well-and-hide-your-wheelchair/.

• The chairman and the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Reps. Jeff Miller and Bob Filner, and the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Sens. Patty Murray and Richard Burr, recently submitted a joint letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The letter urges the Joint Select Committee to look to history should the committee, during the course of its work; have to turn to VA programs in order to meet the minimum $1.2 trillion deficit reduction goal outlined in the Budget Control Act. As the letter notes, the budget must never be balanced on the backs of veterans, but there have been thoughtful, measured proposals enacted in past times of fiscal restraint.

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