America’s unsung heroes: That would be you

Guest columnist Marc Harris, a retired federal employee, offers his gratitude for the huge numbers of civilian employees who supported the war effort.

Mike Causey is on vacation this week and asked several readers, friends and even critics to write guest columns in his absence. Please enjoy today’s offering from Marc Harris, a retired D.C. based federal employee now living in Florida:

I recently visited Omaha Beach in France and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial there. While the bravery of our uniformed forces is clearly evident and commemorated, lets not forget the huge numbers of civilian employees who supported the war effort.

Little positive is mentioned these days of the federal employees taking care of our veterans, guarding our borders, thwarting terrorism, maintaining our military’s hardware, taking criminals off our streets and keeping them behind bars. They support the country’s businesses, house the poor, ensure the safety of our food and water and delivering other vital services to every community in America.

Millions fly every day — the Transportation Security Administration predicted record-setting numbers of travelers on Friday — but do you realize that the U.S. Air Traffic Controllers ensure American air travelers a safe flight, averaging 2.25 million passengers per day, tracking and separating 87,000 flights per day?

Yet the hard earned pay and retirement benefits of federal and postal employees, retirees and annuitants are again the focus of another administration and Congress looking to cut costs. While federal employees and retirees consists of more than five million middle-class Americans, they lack a formal, unified voice in their fight to protect their pay and retirement benefits, and accordingly they cannot compete with big organizations and big donors in any effort to have their voices heard.

Over the years, attempts have been made to provide this unified voice.  For instance, the Federal-Postal Coalition is comprised of many national organizations that collectively represent 5 million middle-class federal and postal workers and retirees. Its current members include:

If you belong to one or more of these groups, I urge you to seek out local members of the other organizations, get together, work together, lobby together, and advocate in your communities for federal and postal employees and retirees. It is time we put aside our differences and united at the grass roots level to protect our hard earned benefits.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

The oldest newspaper in continuous publication in the U.S. is The Hartford Courant in Hartford, Connecticut. It began as a weekly in 1764 and in 1837 it expanded to a daily. It added a Sunday edition in 1913 and in 1994 reached its peak size of just under 400 employees.

Sources: Connecticut History

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