I hate politics. I hate talking to people who don’t live my life and want to tell me what’s best for it. That being said, I don’t like talking about the military with ignorant people. Here’s some cold hard truth.
I have had the opportunity to see President Obama speak twice. The first time was at my sister’s WEST POINT graduation, where I was unhappy to hear him speak about plans for wind energy; instead of speaking to the troops who were headed to give their lives in Afghanistan. And yes, several of my sister’s commrads have given their lives for our freedoms. The second time was while I was stationed on the Harry S. Truman. I wish I could say I was impressed the second time, but I wasn’t.
Since Obama’s been President, this is the lowest pay raise the military has received. If you aren’t above an E4 it can be hard to make ends meet. In fact I did the math when I was in and I was barely making minimum wage. That explains why I struggled to pay rent, and my car and cell phone. Not to mention my husband was stationed elsewhere and they wouldn’t allow me to have BAH. Speaking of BAH, where I was stationed housing was full and we had no choice but to live in town. Those of us that couldn’t afford it had to live on a ship where the contruction was so loud you lost sleep. Now that I’m out, it’s not much better.
In the past couple years the troops paychecks were frozen. At the time I was several months pregnant, and we couldn’t afford to get groceries let alone pay our mortgage. Some of my other friends went into a lot of debt trying to pay all of their bills. It caused a lot of stress for all of us involved. It also caused fear that we wouldn’t be able to afford our baby that we had hoped and prayed for.
In an effort to make our seabags “lighter” they have changed the uniforms several times in the last few years. Instead of saying here’s teh first uniform to help you get started, you are given a deadline in which to get the uniforms, regardless or not if you have a clothing allowance. My last few in months I had to get a brand new uniform I only wore a handful of times. I’m thankful they became gender neurtral so I could give it to my husband. With these new uniforms you still have to upkeep your dress uniform ribbons and medals. Those medals are not cheap and are only worn for special occassions, like a Change of Command Ceremony. The price to get those mounted correctly could have easily helped replace a work uniform.
Everyone knows one of the nice things about living on base is that you don’t have to worry about water, electric or trash since they take your whole BAH. Our current base as informed everyone that this is no longer the case, and although you still don’t get your BAH you’ll be paying your own electric. When they did the studies for this, they used every place on the coast, not the places like ours or fallon, where it’s desert. Another thing to worry about…..
Obama has a bill in place to try to take away our medical benefits. If you’ve ever been to a military hospital, you know they are already stretched thin. He wants the men and women in the military to pay for their own medical, when they are injured defending their country. He wants them to pay for missing the birth of their child, or health problems that should be the last of their worries. Both of my brother in laws left right after their babies were born. They didn’t get to be part of their lives until almost a year. They don’t complain. They knew what they signed up for. The same way my husband didn’t complain when he had to leave days after our son was born, for months at a time.
Upon getting out, I have vetrans preferance for jobs. That doesn’t make it any easier to find one. The FAA doesn’t even accept prior military, so all of the training I have does me no good. Thank goodness for my gi bill. Apparently I need it to find any kind of work. And for those who say it must be nice to have college paid for, yes it is. I paid for it with blood, sweat, tears and the knowledge that I may never make it home.
Just please take it into consideration that “it must be nice to have a garunteed paycheck” isn’t a true statement, or welcome when we have everything else to deal with. This is the reality of choosing to serve your country. We are proud to serve. We are proud to say we protect the values this country stands for. I just wish people understood that yes there are perks to being in the military, but they come at other costs.