Monday, October 03, 2005

RT, Expatriate

A few weeks ago I received that great little letter from the Social Security Administration outlining my benefits to date and it was just a tad bit depressing.

Because of the ten years on the PD where I didn't pay into Social Security, if I was at retirement age right (62)now I'd only receive around $890 a month. So now I've got to work a shitload of years to build up those quarters to even be able to scrape by after I retire.

By then I'll be too old to really enjoy it.

So it got me thinking.

I do a lot of that...

Back when I was in the army I spent a week's R&R in Belize. Belize was great compared to most of the other countries in Central America. Formerly a British colony named British Honduras, it has the distinction of the only country there that the official language is English.

A big plus for a gringo like me. I do speak some Spanish, you don't get far through life growing up and working where I did not to pick up a little Spanish, and the nine years in Arizona (Northern Occupied Mexico) didn't hurt either.

"Uno mas fria cervesa, por favor?"

Anyway, when I was there I met up with quite a few American and British expatriates living there. If what they told me was true, a person could live there like a king for cheap... I'm talking nice cabana on the beach, plenty of food and drink, hot and cold running maids all for about $500 a month...

So that got what little bits of gray matter I have remaining between my ears churning a few nights ago at work. I'm not 62 yet, far from it...

Back to the letter from Social Security, I read a little further into it. Seems that if I had a 100% disability, I could receive over $1650 a month...

Hmmm....

But there's nothing wrong with me. I'm in fairly good health. Except for fallen arches and bad knees everything in RT's torso is just purring along just fine.

Then I thought, PTSD!

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I've met quite a few guys in my time in various American Legion posts I've belonged to that claim PTSD, but there's not a damn thing wrong with them. Sure, they are a little nutty, but PTSD? Give me a break. One guy I met that was getting 100% from SS and the VA was a damn Gulf War navy veteran...

He served on a destroyer in the Persian Gulf, hundreds of miles away from the two-way rifle range. The closest he came to combat was watching his ship launch Tomahawk cruise missiles.

So, if this peckerhead can get a 100% disability from the VA for that, I'm pretty sure I can get one too. All I have to do is go up to the VA in Beckley and see the headshrinker...

"I'm tellin' ya Doc, those 48 hours in Grenada has me all fucked up! Every time I see a coconut I want to climb tall buildings with a high-powered rifle..."

And in short order, I'll be sitting on a lounge chair on a nice white sandy beach under a palm tree, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico...

"Senorita?"

"Si, Senor RT?"

"Uno mas cervesa, por favor..."

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

5 comments:

Becky said...

Dude, I've got to tell my brother about that! He was in Grenada, too. Good plan.

Oh, hey - off topic - go check out this blog - she's got a short story for the same contest I entered that I think you'd like.
http://angiepoole.blogspot.com/

A. Darcy said...

Can I come?

Cheryl said...

Sounds good, but maybe a 401(k) or something is a good back up plan...Hell, you could end up with two cabanas that way.

Ranger Tom said...

Becky: He was a Ranger too, right? We might have known eachother... And thanks for the story link

A: Sure!

Cheryl: Well, I am vested in my PD pention I get 75% when I'm 59 1/2... In about 20 years or so.

honkeie2 said...

Hell I think I will go there now, screw waiting till im in my 60's!