January 8

The Jan. 6 editorial “ Just a trim ” missed the point about why many are angry about the newly enacted reduction in cost-of-living adjustments for working-age military retirees.

Regardless of whether they’re “too generous,” these retirement packages were promises made to our service members during the 12-plus years of war that Congress asked our nation to fight. Reneging on these promises now, as the wars are winding down, is unconscionable and goes against most Americans’ sense of fairness. While I understand the need to reform military compensation, changes should apply only to people who join the military after the changes take effect.

Furthermore, given the extraordinary waste in the federal government, it’s frustrating that one of the first places Congress would go to save $6 billion is the pay of service members. Some insist that the money we save from this will go right back to the military, but it will go to military contractors. Could Congress not find one useless military contract or weapons program to cut instead of service members’ compensation?

Greg Hillson, Alexandria

The editorial said, “For one thing, the cut is an exceedingly modest one on a pension plan that is already far more generous than private-sector equivalents.” There is no private-sector job equivalent to serving in the military. So why equate private-sector pensions with military pensions?

Jim Burton, Aldie

The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.