reply to post by MystikMushroom
Wow- I really hate to make my very first post on ATS such a *itchy one- but here goes anyway.
I have to point out that your ability to pick out every possible "perk" of military service while managing to completely ignore why perhaps that
"perk" is a necessity or *gasp* perhaps even well earned is really quite impressive.
And for everyones info- I've been married to an active duty Marine for 19years. He has served over 4 years in our current combat zones and more than
6 since 9/11 away from home on GWOT assignments.
1. Housing "allowances" are part of a salary package that members sign on for. Being assigned a home on base/post was a requirement of military
life until fairly recently. The DoD had difficulties providing enough housing for an all professional military (means more families-careerist) and
there were serious health consequences regarding very aging housing. (ie. asbestos, ground water contamination) It also important to consider the
financial implications for a family having to move every 2-3 years to areas with dramatically different costs of living- but no pay adjustments.
2. Tri care isn't free. Though again, medical care is part of the contract for employment the same as Blue Cross is for other jobs.
3. Military personnel buy their uniforms.
4. The commissary prices are not the same everywhere. I can't even buy the same items in California that I can in NC much less expect them to be
the exact same price.
6. Most of the recreational opportunities your addressing are only available onboard military bases and are not Disneyland Resort facilities.
7. The Military Star card can be a necessity for a young family when new uniforms & supplies are required before a deployment. And just like with any
other means of credit, there is a charge for not having a long credit history.8
8. USAA is not discounted insurance. I could do much better with Geico pricewise. What USAA is however, is an extremely quality organization.
There are definite benefits in having access to it.
9. Pretty much the only time my husband has used a mess hall regularly was during deployments. And FYI, you receive a food allowance which is either
included in your pay, or removed depending on whether or not you are utilizing it. Meaning, it's not free- part of a contract agreement for
11. In 19 years my family has not once been able to take advantage of a Hops flight- because we're not together or can't run the risk of running
over my Husband's available leave time.
Also, I think it's important that you remember that these are individuals who do not work standard 40 hour weeks by a long stretch. There are
weeks/months at a time spent sleeping in tents in the field living off of MRE's even when they are not deployed. As well as nights/weekends/holidays
standing duty and the inevitable must be "on-call" even when on leave. We've had to leave family at Christmas so my husband was 2hrs less from
work in case he's called up.
You do see a large number of "badass" vehicles on military bases. Please remember that your talking about a work force of primarily young men.
Young men who before marriage are living on base and deploying. What else are they gonna buy?
Just a little FYI re the MRE's. It is not healthy for most servicemembers to be relying on them for nutrition for extended periods of time. They
were designed as high fat content foods to be useful when living outdoors in extreme conditions where standard food preparation wasn't available.
When people are deploying 3, 4, 5 times for 1 year plus at a time eating only MRE's- it can create dangerous health concerns, and their bodies do
belong to the US Gov't; it's an obligation to protect their investment.