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Military retiree mentoring program suggested

Military retiree Lucia Bartley has suggested a military mentoring program, which calls for any veteran working in the government to mentor a college graduate, to work in the American Samoa Government.

Bartley, who made the suggestion on the governor’s radio program this past weekend, first commended Gov. Togiola Tulafono for his support of local veterans. She then raised with the governor what she calls “an important program” and named, “Toa o Samoa Military Retiree Mentor Reinvestment Program”, which involves a retired military person and a college student of Samoan ancestry.

If a retiree works for the government, and he or she gets a salary of $100,000 a year, Bartley proposed that 35% of that retiree’s salary goes to hiring a new college graduate, who is a U.S. national, or citizen of Samoan ancestry, to work along side the retiree so that he or she can train and mentor the college graduate.

“If this retired military person truly loves his people and the territory, he or she should donate part of their salary to the local government to hire a new college graduate, who has to maintain a GPA of 4.0 in three straight semesters, in order for the graduate to qualify for this program,” said Bartley.

“An important part of the program is for retirees to reinvest their time and talent to mentor graduates, who are the future leaders of our territory,” she said.

Responding to the idea, the governor suggested that Bartley present this recommendation to the current committee overseeing the new veterans memorial monument and building, which is located at the Tafuna Industrial Park across from the ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank.

Togiola said the proposal is very good; however, there is no one in government service including the governor, that gets paid $100,000 a year; except for maybe certain top positions within the American Samoa Power Authority and the LBJ Medical Center.

Set by law, the governor’s annual salary is $85,000 while the lieutenant governor is $75,000 annually.