I've been in the Air Force for 12 years. I came in for every reason in the book: 9-11, a job, to help pay for college, to travel, to meet people, to
get out of Wyoming...you name it. I scored well above average on my ASVAB, and to join the AF, you had to score higher then all the other branches.
The ASVAB, if you don't know, is basically a placement test that measures your intelligence and abilities. It's a way for the military to place you a
career field where you'll do well. It's not a difficult test, but you'd be surprised at how low the standards are.
I'm not calling anyone in the service stupid, but we've got people who come from all walks of life. People who have struggled in life, been in and
out of jail, graduated from college, done great things, played professional sports. There's no shortage of any one type of person.
I am, and always have been, financially comfortable in the military. Everyone who comes in, is payed well enough to get by in our society. Any
financial issues that they have is that of their own cause. Personal accountability needs to be applied to those who do struggle. When you first
come in, you live in a dormitory on base where you get a meal card to eat at the chow hall. You get paid twice a month. You have a commissary on
base that's equivalent to wal-mart prices. Most bases have a bus that will transport you from the dorms to where you work (or close enough).
We have free medical and free dental, we get paid extra money when we move, we get paid for our military clothing, we get paid for off base housing,
and we get paid for food, all on top of our base pay which is determined by our rank and time in service. I'm getting a promotion next week, which
will equate to an $800 a month raise. I'll be making close to $66K a year, on top of all the other entitlements that we have....I'd say that's a
pretty fair shake.
Here's the thing, most of the people in the service do just fine. But some, struggle. Some don't know what to do with their money. Some go out to
strip clubs and malls as soon as their done with their initial training and blow it on anything they can. Some feel they have to have the newest pair
of oakly sunglasses. Some have to have a $3K entertainment/gaming system in their tiny dorm room. And some are driving a lexus on a $30K a year
People feed off of the military, and they set their sights on the very ones who are young and impressionable. There are car dealerships outside of
every base with signs that say "guaranteed loan for E-3's", and nobody to stop them. Walk through a mall near a base, and there will be a vendor
specifically searching out young military members waiting to give them a line of credit at 25% interest that jumps to 30% after one missed payment.
And there is nobody there to help them manage their money.
We take the bait, we throw ourselves into a debt we won't see or realize for years. We hook up with cute girls who are attracted to men in uniform
and get hooters waitresses pregnant. By the time we're 30, we're 3 kids deep and thousands of dollars in debt with a crappy lexus that we couldn't
afford to ever get fixed, with a home loan that soaks up half our paycheck, and 2 ex wives/husbands that take the rest.
Who's fault is that? We knew exactly what we were getting into. You can't always blame the government, sometimes personal responsibility is all
that's required to make ends meet. Sometimes its that same discipline that is instilled into us on the firing range that we need to apply to our
finances...that's it, that's all. Self-discipline.
Believe me, we get paid a fair wage. Though I've always felt that any time you're in a combat environment, you should receive a $10K per month pay
raise for each month that you're there. That's the only time where we aren't paid enough. Plus, if 20,000 people are in a combat zone with that pay
increase, the government will think twice about waging war on anyone.
edit on 24-8-2014 by Assassin82 because: (no reason given)