Back in May 2011, a motion to raise the pay of veterans in combat, otherwise known as “combat pay,” by $180 per month met with a resounding, majority “No!” from House Congressmen.But that wasn’t even what got Army mother Maria Meacham mad.
Meacham, who told her story to Adalia Woodbury of Politicus USA reports, was visiting the Capitol with her husband when the resolution was put onto the floor of The House of Representatives.
Rep. Kurt Schrader [D-Or] sought to repeal a 2003 amendment that reduced battle pay by $180 per month. What followed was an “anemic” Yea from House Dems and an enthusiastic “No!” from House Republicans.
Then came giddy high fives between Republicans Rep. Ben Quayle and Rep. David Schweikert, Meacham claims.
The military mum, who told Woodbury that the act felt insensitive and hurtful, decided she had to say something.
“Pay the soldiers or bring them home!” she shouted two times. Then “Why don’t you take a pay cut to help the soldiers?”
A security guard approached her and told her that she wasn’t supposed to be shouting. Meacham sat down. Then, she said, the acting House Speaker wouldn’t stop staring at her.
Suddenly, he issued the order, Meacham claims: “The Sergeant at Arms needs to take control of the gallery now.”
Two security guards approached Meacham and asked her to leave with them.
Once outside, the guards put Meacham in cuffs and took her to a detention centre, where she says she was subjected to booking procedures as well as a battery of drugs tests and questioning, which oddly enough including asking if she was affiliated with any one political party or group.
The final charge for Meacham was disorderly conduct, and she was banned from visiting Congress for six months. The disorderly conduct charge was eventually dropped, but after weeks of continued drug tests, the sting is still there.
Meancham’s reflection on the whole experience is powerful. Read it at Politicus USA >
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