Thursday, August 30, 2007

A MUST READ!! Does the military get paid too much?

Ok, I know this is a knitting blog, but since I'm also a military wife I was somewhat upset (this is the mild, rated PG version of my response) about this. I got this email from a fellow military spouse and just wanted to bring this to everyones attention that thinks that the military "swims" in money.

Somebody has started to straighten some of these thoughtless and ungrateful people out. And I am even more grateful that it was someone serving in one of the branches of military.

Military paid too much ? You be the judge !

This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

On Nov. 12, Ms Cindy Williams (from Laverne and Shirley TV show) wrote a piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise coming service members' way this year -- citing that the stated 13% wage was more than they deserve.

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

"Ms Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GIs earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account.

Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40, after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum... I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in our armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you.

Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience." As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone -- obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night; and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor. Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it.

You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your opined piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve? Rubbish!

A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC

Think about it.



At 10:00 PM, Blogger Cindy said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you and your friend have been hoodwinked by an urban legend that has been circulating since 2002. Cindy Williams, the actress, DID NOT write the letter in question. A different Cindy Williams, one from MIT who once worked as an assistant in the Congressional Budget Office, wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post about pay for military personnel. The actress had nothing to do with it.

This kind of thing happens all the time in emails. Whenever you get something that makes a claim intended to outrage and spur some kind of action (like forwarding the email or posting it on a blog), please check it against, which catalogs and debunks (or sometimes confirms) such things. Here's the link for info about this one:

Cheers! :)

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Either way, the mere discussion of military pay is an insult. I get so worked up over the amount of money spent on entertainment in this country (athletes, actors, media). It's insane and a sad reflection of our priorities that our teachers and servicemen just get by while we pay some guy who's living his childhood dream of running around a field with a ball more money per year than most hardworking people will make in a lifetime. Argh!

Deep breath.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Angelika said...

I just wanted to add that no matter who made the comment about too much pay, wether it was an actress or not, we DO qualify for WIC and food stamps most the time and would probably be way better off in the civilian world doing what we are doing, but instead our spouses desided to defend our freedom.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger 'chelle said...

It doesn't matter who wrote it (although the author should be correctly attributed), it's frustrating how many service members qualify for food stamps and how many non-military don't understand this.

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Veronika said...

it's really ashame how this country treats its service personnel. Just think about how much we "throw" at illegals and gang people in prison who don't deserve what they get from this government. It's very sad!

At 2:27 AM, Anonymous Kristen Marks said...

I am a textbook California liberal and even I have to say it is completely embarassing the way this country treats it's service people and their families - and I think the poverty level salary rate is largely unknown. It is somehow seen as "unAmerican" to criticize the way the government runs any part of the military, even if it means keeping military families poor, or continually re-upping the guard.

"Illegals" and gang people in prison are two very different populations deserving of very different treatment, but then again, I am a) Californian and b) liberal. Becoming an American citizen it a very expensive prospect, costing multiple thousand dollars per person. But like military salaries, this is something most people don't know because it complicates the rhetoric.


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