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The tasty holiday cheer was made possible for 249 Sheppard Airmen and their families who may have not had the opportunity when their wingmen volunteered in the brisk winter air and collected food during the Sheppard food drive recently.
A quote from a story that should never need to be written - ever.  The link below is to that story.

This is not a story about airmen doing good deeds in the local community that supports their base; this is a story about our service people needing help for the holiday. We expect our servicemen and women to sacrifice a great deal, yet we pay them pennies. They should be able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner. It shouldn't take a food drive!

I don't want to make a big deal about what I write, but I do think THIS STORY IS A BIG DEAL! Our service people should not need food drives, they should not need SNAP benefits (and we know so many do), they SHOULD BE WELL TAKEN CARE OF!

I found out about this because my son-out-law* is Airman James Thompson, mentioned in the story. I am very proud of what he is doing and has accomplished. Jim's wife, Doren (my daughter-out-law), knows I am writing this. Since they are in the story, I sought their permission before posting. If anyone wants to post the link elsewhere, please feel free to do so.

Thank you for your time.

*Out-law family...people who were married to my children, are no longer, but with whom I still have a close relationship. That happens when you have grandchildren and blended families!

Originally posted to Most Awesome Nana on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:44 PM PST.

Also republished by IGTNT Advisory Group, Hunger in America, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  RW Government Becomes Wal*Mart (12+ / 0-)

    Starve their workes, cut taxes to the rich, and drain the peoples' precious charity money to help those they caused to suffer.

    Same for retail clerks, same for our troops.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:58:43 PM PST

  •  When I was in Uncle Sugar served (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    up a damn fine T-Day dinner in the mess hall.  That's changed?  And, even if Uncle Sugar hadn't served up a damn fine T-Day dinner we most certainly had enough coinage to chip in and buy our own.  That's changed?  And... and there were no Food Stamps when I was in.  At least none to be had by GI Joes.  If GIs are getting Food Stamps on top of pay then there's not a reason they don't have enough money for food.  Including a damn fine T-Day dinner.  None.

    •  Really? (6+ / 0-)

      Did those "damn fine t-dinners" include the entire family?

      And yes, our servicemen with families do qualify for food stamps. Just because you get SNAP doesn't mean you are adequately fed - especially so close to the end of the month. So, NO, they are NOT paid enough.

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:20:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No Married Airmen with Dependents... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Most Awesome Nana

        Are not fed at the mess halls, unless they "Pay" for the meal...

        Married Airmen are paid "Separate Rations" to cover food and housing costs instead of being provided with a barracks room and mess hall privileges...

        "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
        I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
        ~John F. Kennedy~


        by Oldestsonofasailor on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:48:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for commenting..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But I still don't think they are paid enough.

          "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

          by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:29:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They may not be paid enough, (0+ / 0-)

            but they most certainly can afford a T-Day meal.  Hell, we got paid diddly when I was in - granted, a million years ago - but I sent home $100 a month and STILL had a ton left over for a real weekly meal in some real restaurant somewhere.
            GI Joes that are married and living "off post" get a Food allowance on top of a Housing allowance.  And - apparently - on top of That - they're getting SNAP.  My guess is they're living ok.  Not, living large, but not living on $8.50 an hour either.  I live near a military post that regularly sends GI Joes off to Afghanistan - and before that Iraq.  And, becuz of that military Housing allowance Slumlords charge what "the Gov't" is paying GI Joes' Housing allowances.  Subsequently and consequently most of us "civilians" here can't afford the $800 a month Slumlords are charging for what should be $550 rent.  I don't have anything against GI Joes - I once was one - but if they're drawing SNAP on top of a Food Allowance and can't afford a T-Day dinner they're maybe spending it somewhere they shouldn't.  Not saying somewhere nasty.  Just not spending it wisely.

  •  Of all the holidays we celebrate (5+ / 0-)

    as a nation, for this to happen to members of our armed forces on the day we are supposed to be "giving thanks" for the very things that our armed forces are instrumental in making possible is shameful. Utterly shameful.

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:22:36 PM PST

  •  Life as a married, junior enlisted can be tough (12+ / 0-)

    I spent a few years as a single parent when I was an E-6 (Technical Sergeant) and it was some hard living.  For those who don't know Air Force rank structure, E-6 is about halfway up the enlisted rank structure.  Those who are married in grades E-1 thru E-5 have it pretty tough unless the spouse works, and if they have kids it's that much tougher, and events like this really help out.

    I remember one particular 1st Sergeant.  I'd just come back to the states from overseas, had three kids (one of them autistic) and my wife couldn't land a job in the local economy.  I wanted to go to school but could not afford books.  I mentioned this in passing to the "1st Shirt", who disappeared and then reappeared with a typed note and an order to get my butt and the note over to the financial aid people.  An hour later I had a $150 check for buying textbooks.  28 months later I graduated my bachelor's degree cum laude.

    Needless to say I repaid that check in cash once we got on our financial feet, and in volunteer efforts that I would have felt ashamed not to participate in.  To this day I reap the benefits of that Shirt's commitment to his people, and I am sad to say I cannot remember his name.

    Good on you, Airman Thompson.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:15:31 AM PST

  •  Spent 21 years in service 74-95 (8+ / 0-)

    We always had unit food drives for Thanksgiving and Christmas- As the NCOIC of a large hospital section- I also knew who needed the help.
    Life as an E-5 and below with a couple of kids can be really tough.

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi

    by onceasgt on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:47:06 AM PST

  •  Sadly this is not uncommon at all. (7+ / 0-)

    My husband served in the USNavy 69-89 and we saw this first hand every year.  Every year @ Mayport Naval Station there is a sign up sheet for those who cannot afford to buy Christmas gifts for their children. Money is raised to give those kids a great Christmas of bikes and video games, etc.

    To this day I still see families using SNAP benefits to pay for their groceries in the Commissary.  There is no excuse known to man to ask someone to pledge their life if necessary in defense of their country when that country will not pay them enough to feed their family.  

    Blessings on your out-laws and the other Airmen at Sheppard and blessings on all our troops and their families.

    Republished to "Hunger in America" and "IGTNT Advisory Group"

    Thanks for sharing this story, Nana  

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:04:02 AM PST

  •  Same as it ever was (6+ / 0-)
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,—
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.
    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    "Tommy" ! Rudyard Kipling

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:24:26 AM PST

  •  Love the outlaw thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Most Awesome Nana, ladybug53

    Gonna use that!

  •  I have a way to solve this problem and another (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Most Awesome Nana, ladybug53

    at the same time.

    We need to be paying our enlisted servicemembers a living wage. In fact, I would argue that an enlisted's salary should not place him in the lowest rung of the middle-class but perhaps even a little higher.

    Now one way to give our enlisted people the salary they deserve is by looking at how many jobs were outsourced over the last 30 years to civilian contractors and see how many of those jobs could be returned to military hands.

    Regardless of the bullshit that thinktanks (let's be honest and call a lot of them just shills for defense contractors) tell us, it's cheaper for the military to, for instance, cook and serve it's own meals than to bring in a contractor to do it.

    The only way, I repeat the only way a contractor can "claim" to do this cheaper is by paying its employees a substandard wage or by limiting benefits and pensions.

    Is that the way we want to go? When the government creates jobs, either directly or indirectly, it should be good-paying jobs with benefits and pensions so that you attract the highest caliber of workers to provide top-notch services to the people who actually employ them: the US taxpayer.

    We can even increase the size of our "standing" military by firing these contractors and replacing them with more servicemembers.

    Not everyone in the military needs to carry a rifle. But I know that I'd rather have a military cook cooking my meals than any civilian who goes home at the end of the day and doesn't give a damn if I was satisfied or not.

    And when that military cook gets out he has a set of job skills that are eagerly sought in the civilian job market.

    The same thing goes with, say, embassy security personnel. Back when I was in the navy, Marines provided all embassy security, and it was a highly-prized job assignment. Let's get rid of the contractors doing this (and who have, let's be honest, their first loyalty to their employer, not the US govt.,) and add another 10,000 Marines to the Corps for Embassy security duties.

    To me this is a win/win situation. Pay our military more and get rid of the money-sucking military contractor leeches so we can do so.

  •  Thank you Mentamark for reposting! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:24:29 AM PST

  •  Thank you for the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Most Awesome Nana

    True enough the food especially in combat zones has always been pretty bad.  The thing most people forget is that during the Vietnam era...Sea rations were considered a treat if stuck in a zone where supplies could not be flown in and to add insult to injury besides starving were fighting for your life.  Just another sacrafice which makes the veteran status so bad.. All the sacrafice as a troop to be treated so poorly as a veteran.

    Thank your son in law for his service.  Everytime I see a chess board, I think of the soldiers just what they represent...pawns...dispensable and everyone protects the King or Queen.....Always as it has been...Looks like it is like it will always be this way unless one serves as a knight or bishop.   The very least we could do is make sure the pawns are fed well while in battle and once they leave the board... never changes for the better.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 12:43:08 PM PST

    •  I will be very pleased to pass along your thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to Jim.

      Coming from you it means a great deal!

      Thank you for all you do - for those still serving and those retired.

      The chessboard simile is very apt. I do however, think we treat veterans even worse than active service people. After all, they are no longer useful - a drain on our resources. Argh.

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:12:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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