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New Message Board Archives >> 2002 Posts >> Military Veterans, (Read This)(Military Pay)
(Message started by: TonyG on Feb 15th, 2002, 9:39am)

Title: Military Veterans, (Read This)(Military Pay)
Post by TonyG on Feb 15th, 2002, 9:39am
This is unbelieveable!!!

On 12 November, Ms Cindy Williams (from the 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 gap was
bogus. 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 of 12 Nov, "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 leave and earnings statement (LES), I see
that I make $1,117.80, before taxes. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When
I run that through Windows'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 (AFNCC), where I am
part of the team responsible for the administration of 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, nor does it pay less than this.

No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum. I'm
sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.  Also, you tout increases to Basic
Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (housing and food allowances, respectively) as being a further boon to an already overcompensated force. Again, I'm
curious as to where this money has gone, as BAH and BAS were both
slashed 15% in the Hill AFB area effective in January 00.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you have 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 AFDC, 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 DOD 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
DFP(Defensive Fire Position, the modern-day 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 op-ed 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

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND
SHOW OUR SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN.  THANK YOU. THIS
LETTER SHOULD BE APPLAUDED BY ANYONE WHO'S EVER SERVED OR HAD A FAMILY MEMBER SERVE IN THE ARMED FORCES! THIS YOUNG MAN DESERVES A MEDAL!!!




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