"It's a staggering victory," said retired Air Force Colonel George "Bud" Day.
The Fort Walton Beach, Florida, lawyer and Medal of Honor recipient made the remark after round one of an unprecedented court challenge to force the government to keep its promise of free lifetime health care to an older generation of military retirees.
On 11 June in Pensacola, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson rejected a government motion to dismiss the lawsuit Day brought on behalf of two Medicare-eligible retirees, William O. Schism and Robert Reinlic.
They seek restoration of in-service medical benefits, reimbursement of monies deducted from Social Security to cover Medicare costs, and relief from future deductions.
Day, who has been gathering financial and moral support from retirees throughout the country, quickly filed a motion to convert the case to a class action potentially affecting up to 1.4 million retirees 65 and older.