Lottery Post Journal

Military Pay

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(s) 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 GI's 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 her 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 opened 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

3 Comments:

  • Tough call. The people of the US have always resisted maintenance of a large military force between wars until WWII and the beginnings of the cold war. Now we've had a near-constant series of wars for half-a-century, but the residue of that opinion remains, though dormant.

    Maybe the solution would be to deactivate those portions of the active/career/all-volunteer military that aren't involved in direct confrontation with the enemy.... the combat arms branches remaining intact and filled with draftees except for a career cadre.

    Passing the various administrative functions, adjutant general, judge advocate general, paymaster general, and high-tech weaponry functions over to the Army Reserve, National Guard and civilian contractors, to be minimized when there's no war going on, but paying top wages when there is. And at all times for the draftees.

    That would restore citizen involvement in the war-making machinery, decision making, and possibly give us a more circumspect attitude about what wars to fight, and what wars not to fight.

    Vietnam should have taught us the US citizenry won't long stand for a protracted war unless there's a clear set of reasons for fighting it involving direct threat to the US mainland, understandable goals, and some defined criteria for what it takes to end it.

    The Gulf War I should have taught us the citizenry will support such a war, even with some of the ingredients missing, provided it's quick, successful, and the US body counts are low.

    But this country owes the guys out there getting shot at a living wage, no matter how inane and ambiguous the war it chooses to fight.
    Jack

    By Rip Snorter, at 1:47 PM

  • Now that the enemy (the terrorists) have brought the war to our shores, I don't think we can afford to deactivate personnel. But I do think we can be smarter, by evaluating and going after previously unaddressed sources of terror.

    The most imminent source of terror we must address, as a nation, is our borders. It is infuriating that politics interferes with our rational defense of our borders -- both Northern and Southern. Both Democrats and Republicans are at fault.

    Unfortunately, it appears that it will literally take a major, catastrophic attack from terrorists who have crossed over the border(s) to pressure the politicians to place the National Guard on our borders.

    It has already been proved by the all-volunteer Minutemen that a physical presence on the border STOPS illegal border-crossing in its tracks. This stupid practice of allowing illegals to infiltrate the United States is going to be one of the major causes of its downfall, if it ever comes top that.

    -Todd

    By Todd, at 2:05 PM

  • Check out http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/gipay.asp for this and other hoaxes being spread via email. While not entirely untrue, it is not THE Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley.

    By CalifDude, at 12:35 AM

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