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View Diary: Military food stamp use rose in 2013 (24 comments)

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  •  It is disgraceful that anyone in the military (5+ / 0-)

    is not paid a living wage.

    No military family should have to depend on food stamps to  make ends meet.

    •  Not many people realize that enlisted (4+ / 0-)

      military members couldn't feed their families without food stamps. But then other working Americans in minimum wage jobs have the same problem. No working American should have to rely on food stamps. An honest day's work deserves a living wage.

      We are all in this together. I support my fellow military families being paid a decent wage and then the retirement they earned. I also support raising the minimum wage so that people can see that their children are properly nourished, housed and clothed.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:00:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some enlisted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        SOME.  Not all, not even most.  Some.  And some junior officers are in the same boat.  Some.

        The service members who can't afford to feed their families are in that situation because their family size is not appropriate to their point in their career.  

        We don't pay our newest soldiers much.  Its called entry level.  But they still get paid a ton more than entry level gets anywhere else.  

        Appropriate time to get married and support a wife = E-5
        Base pay = $2440.20

        Appropriate time to have a second child = E-6
        Base Pay = $2964.90

        Inappropriate time to have a wife and 2 (or more) kids = E-2
        Base pay = $1716.90

        The military is structured like a giant life lesson.  We use explicit and subliminal messaging to drive people toward a certain path.  Follow the path and you will be successful.  Stray from the path and here there be dragons.  Everything about being a junior enlisted member E-1 through E-4 says "don't get married, don't have kids."  Become and NCO at E-5 and its "get married, no kids."  Why?  Because you have passed the first decision point in either staying in past your first enlistment or reuping for another go.  Make E-6 and its time to have kids.  Why?  Because you are coming up on your second decision point - stay till retirement or punch before I have too much invested.  Our differed compensation is massive compared to our current pay.  The lesson?  Work hard now, work less hard later.  Live within your means now and you can relax and REALLY retire.  By the time I retire my retirement check will be a pay raise because I live on less than what it will pay.  

        I feel for every military member who need assistance and I have helped every one of my soldiers who needed it to get every dime they were allowed.  But in 27 years I have not seen a single financial problem in the military that was not tied to an individual choice that was either bad or questionable considering their career progression.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:48:00 AM PST

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    •  Actually they are (0+ / 0-)

      The lowest paid enlisted person in the military receives $1531.50 a month.  That pay is limited to the lowest grade - E-1 and only for the first 4 months.  Very few soldiers actually get paid that little.  After 4 months pay jumps to $1716.90 and after 6 months anyone who has not managed to get in trouble in some way will be promoted to E-2 and get paid $1805.40.  That is just base pay.  If the service member lives in housing that is free.  If they eat at the dining facility, that is free.  All medical and dental is free and you pay into retirement with years of your life not dollars from your paycheck.  After paying pretty modest income tax what is left is disposable income.  Additional benefits include 100% tuition assistance and upon discharge or after 3 years they can receive the GI BIll.  

      The problem comes when you have an E-1 with a wife and 4 kids.  They can still live in housing - if available - free but the food allowance  - $357.55 for enlisted personnel - is a fixed amount and not designed to support a large family.

      Military pay is actually quite generous.  But like any other career we pay "entry level" an entry level wage.  Fighting is a young man's game and we expect our entry level to be 18 and single, not 25 with kids stretched from diapers to middle school.  In the past we required enlisted personnel below the grade of E-6 to get PERMISSION from their commanders to get married.  Junior personnel are not known for their great decision making as evidenced by the numerous pawn shops and payday loan stores that populate the strip malls around every military post.  Much of the financial distress, no make that 100% of the financial distress, of junior military personnel is self imposed.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:21:09 AM PST

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      •  correction (0+ / 0-)

        E-1 under 4 is $1416.30.  E-1 over 4 months is $1531.50 and stays that way until making E-2.

        Thats what I get for reading a Navy pay chart!!!

        GO Army!

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:49:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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