Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Going On?!

This is copied from a military blog (milblog) and I edited out the "language"...It's true that NOW the pay is minimal. And new servicemembers ARE taken advantage of. When Ben came home from USMC we took over his pickup payment that he had acquired out in CA during SOI- because Galen needed the 4WD and Ben did not, besides just being nice as parents. The car sellers told us that they purposefully raise the price to these young men because "it's very probable they won't be able to keep the vehicles they buy" etc. Other reasons I can't remember right now. So out of the goodness of our hearts we are stuck with a pickup that is worth probably at least HALF of what is still owed...but we wanted to help Ben out and not have him get a bad credit from letting it go back. Also everything, their uniforms, gear, equipment, necessities,each little "stripe" or badge, has to be bought out of their paycheck, leaving almost nothing to live on. I can't imagine a family living on what Benjamin was making. And was this fully explained by the recruiters? or in the fancy ads that mention "the few, the proud, the Marines" ? I think not.

Here is the rant from Blackfive:

“U.S. troops could be required to report to work without pay if a budget clash in Congress results in a government-wide shutdown, according to draft planning guidance circulating in the Pentagon.”

I cannot think of a more cruel way next to spitting on your military than not paying them, especially when we are at war. At least the Viet Nam Vets that were getting spit on were getting paid. When we discipline Marines for violating the UJMC one way that you can really make the punishment sting is taking a Marines pay, that hurts them and more so it can have residual effects on their spouse and family, something that is weighed heavily when dealing out the punishment to junior servicemembers.Is that what this is, punishment? It’s going to seem that way especially to young warriors because political organizations cannot come to an agreement they are going to make the little guy (young Marines & servicemembers and their families) suffer by not paying them.

At such a crucial time of war we are going to eventually put the strain on the backbone that is keeping this country free? For those not in the military, here is a look a little deeper how this will affect your servicemembers. Not only young servicemembers but 90% of servicemembers live from paycheck to pay check in the military. On top of that, they are so heavily dependent on direct deposit that one month’s pay neglected to a young servicmember will mean many other planned scheduled things will fail into a domino effect.We aren’t talking about luxury items here we are talking about things like food. Based on the 2011 military pay scale, a Sergeant in the Marine Corps with over 3 years of service makes just over $28k a year. Lets break that down further grunt style. $2,338 (not much to start with) is actually $2k after taxes a month. Broken down romper room style, that’s basically $500 a week. What if he is married and has a couple kids? If you only made $500 a week could you continue to support your family while being deployed? One month’s pay not deposited in a warriors bank account will lead to bounced checks, because the devildog has to eat and feed his little warriors and pay bills, bounced checks will lead to bad credit and to hammer him into submission, when he bounces those checks he will be under the UJMC and could be punished for bouncing checks. Now you put yourself in the young Marines wives shoes, whose husband is deployed killing bad guys and putting his life on the line and she is holding the homefront together only to have her Marine “work without pay.” Ya, that’s the added stress our military wives need on top of oh I don’t know, having their husband killed and to never return. Does this make sense to you? Is this the type of government that we want, that tries to fix the deficit on the backs of our service members when there are so many other places to cut?They can try to blow smoke all they want and tell me it would be spread so large that it wouldn’t be noticeable. To who, them or the young warrior barely making it as it is? More even, they will get paid for that month but they rather not let their military get paid? Why doesn’t Congress take on some of the pain for their created friction and simply walk to work for that month. Sell their (Mercedes & BMW) cars and contribute that to the military spouses & wounded warriors trying to hold things together. They want to “help” their military? Actions speak louder than words. Help them or don’t pay them which is it?“Troops and essential civilians who report for work without pay would receive back pay when government funding is restored” This plan is sad and written like the steely eyed warrior in Afghanistan has the option not to come to work today. Not. Furthermore, when they give the servicemembers “back pay” I’m sure the credit card companies are going to understand when the young Marines tells them I didn’t get paid but I’ll pay you next month. The young military family needs the money when you told him you would pay him. Period. If he doesn’t deploy when you tell him, you charge him under the UJMC. Is that what we should do to Congress? Charge them for not doing their job? How is it different?The sad part in all of this is that this is the exact type of poor leadership that develops into a domino effect, is poorly thought-out and ultimately causes our sharp, experienced military members who are doing more deployments than planned not to reenlist and then every one of us will pay not just those deploying.Contact your state representative by writing to them or even better CALL them and ask them the hard questions mentioned above.

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