Let's make it easy for you, then: Prior to their change, every character got a VA ship token at promotion, yes? THey've removed that.
No they haven't; none of your characters who received that have had their token removed.
I'm having a hard time understanding your logic about not being cheated.
Imagine that you worked for a company that paid retirement to any employee after 30 years and the company dropped the policy in your 29th year. You never "received" the retirement, so have you lost anything...