Not that many of us down here in the Lower 48 know all that much about the ATG.
That’s too bad, because back in the day, after Pearl Harbor, when the Japs seized the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska, the Alaska Territorial Guard was for many months the only force available to protect the only source of the strategic metal platinum in the Western Hemisphere against Japanese attack and to secure the land around the vital Lend-Lease air route between the United States and Russia.
“Muktuk” Marston was something of an unsung American T. E. Lawrence. He deserves to be more widely known among American students of Irregular Warfare. The indigenous irregulars he raised and led are leaving us, along with the rest of the Greatest Generation, but the Last Survivors of the Tundra Army face one final test.
The Alaska Territorial Guard: A Debt of Honor Unpaid
That eminent Former Regime Loyalist the erstwhile Warlord of Castle Argghhh! points out that Since the failure is in the wording of the legislation and the Army’s initial read of it, the solution is legislative as well.
The Secretary of the Army has authorized emergency funds for 26 surviving members of a World War II Alaska militia unit whose retirement pay was being reduced because of a legal technicality, Alaska’s congressional delegation said today.
Army Secretary Pete Geren will dip into an emergency fund to cover the pay for the 26 former members of the largely Native guard, according to the delegation. The one-time emergency payment will equal two months’ pay while Congress works on legislation to fix the law to allow the service in the unit to counts as active duty for calculating retirement pay.
This situation is incredibly disturbing. All indications are these brave WWII veterans served Alaska and the nation with honor. To purposely cut these aged men off, in the twilight of their lives, goes against everything America stands for. In fact, as this cuts off not only a substantial part of their paycheck, but other benefits, such as medical, one might even say this is sort of a death panel, especially knowing that winter is coming, and heating fuel is quite expensive in Alaska.