Alaska Governor Sarah Palin [on July 24, 2009] lauded the U.S. Senate’s efforts to restore military retirement benefits to 26 Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) members. In a vote of 87 to 7, the Senate adopted the ATG amendment into the $679.8 billion defense authorization bill for FY2010. The amendment was offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich (ATG, 2009, Â¶1).
“I appreciate the work our two Senators have done on this issue,” Governor Palin said. “The members of the Alaska Territorial Guard served our state with honor. They deserve to be justly compensated” (ATG, 2009, Â¶2).
The ATG was a military reserve force component of the U.S. Army, organized in 1942 in response to attacks on American soil in Hawaii and Alaska by Japan during World War II. More than 6,000 people were recruited to patrol Alaska’s coastland. Recruits were mostly Alaska Natives (ATG, 2009, Â¶3).
The Department of Defense decided in January to discontinue retirement benefits to ATG members, but temporarily suspended its decision at the urging of Governor Palin and Alaska’s congressional delegation. The Department of Defense continued paying benefits through April. Governor Palin signed legislation in April providing temporary retirement benefits to the 26 surviving members of the ATG (ATG, 2009, Â¶4).
Governor Palin has been an absolute guardian angel for ATG veterans (indeed every soldier that has served under her command or who was based in an Alaska military installation). This blog has chronicled her work in this area (among many others) throughout 2009. Prior coverage of Governor Palin’s accomplishments as they relate to ATG is listed below, and of course on the Master List:
General Information Package — Governor Palin’s Command Experience — Extending ATG Veterans’ Retirement Benefits
General Information Package: Command Experience — Governor Palin Fights for Payments to ATG Veterans
Governor commends Senate action on ATG benefits. (2009, July 24). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved July 29, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1977