I know many people have come across the article After Decade of Lavish Benefits, Military Personnel Fear Cuts.
This is just my response to this portion of the article…
“…Salaries and benefits soared far above civilian compensation, military bases and housing were refurbished, support services like day care, family counseling and on-base college courses were expanded.”
Dear Mr. Wood:
Do you know that the family counseling offered to military families is what helps many of them reintegrate after deployment or an altering event?
It is not there to show that they have great benefits but that their employer (Department of Defense) cares about their mental health after so many suicides in the services (mainly Army). My own husband lost his former supervisor to that struggle, unfortunately.
Also support services like day care are not fully covered by the DoD. In our particular area, child development centers on base are more expensive than off-post facilities. Soldiers and their family have to pay for their child to be taken care if one or both parents are unable to; this is especially true for dual-military families.
My husband and I are no stranger to what dual-military families go through as we have several friends that are dual-military who we help out in any way possible, even if it means last minute babysitting for them or helping them when one parent goes TDY.
Salaries and benefits have soared far above civilian compensation? Do you know that my husband makes what is considered below federal poverty level? That excludes BAH though. IF you look at the federal income tax return, those in certain religious ministries receive a housing stipend as well. Are you going to criticize them as well for receiving a stipend to live on?
Next time, please double check your calculations and how salaries compare in the civilian world and in the military.
My husband has benefited from the “lavish” mental health services offered stateside and overseas; it has helped him try to overcome his readjustment disorder and PTS. It is what has helped me deal with the stresses of his constant deployments and other events.
Since we are considered a Wounded Warrior family as my husband is going through a med board at the moment, those support services have been essential to us in transitioning to the civilian world and medical retirement. My husband was barely able to squeeze by into his class for the semester before the Army cut off TA funding; those classes are what is going to make him a bit more competitive in the civilian sector. I should know since I was a civilian before I married him and became a military “dependent”.
I was paid a bit more because I had college credits to my name, so I was considered more qualified than some of my counter-parts who had similar experience but no college credits to offer to the employer.
We are all families dealing with deployments and TDYs on a constant basis. You may think that families no longer deal with deployments after the reduction of troops but I can easily tell you that there will still be deployments and TDYs for many of us, just not in the usual location. Those “lavish benefits” is what helps many of us in the military community overcome so many obstacles and avoid becoming statistics to the DoD and the civilian sector.
A Wounded Warrior family in transition