posted on Feb, 7 2003 @ 07:08 PM
Just some food for thought:
Military pay article
On 12 Nov, Ms Cindy Williams (from Laverne and Shirley TV show) wrote a
piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise(s) coming
servicemembers' 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 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
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
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?
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!