"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis
On this day I would like to take a moment to give thanks to Veterans past, present, and future.
My Grandpa was in the Air Force, I remember tales of World War II that he would tell if asked. I recall the pictures he let me borrow for a school project. I remember the immense pride I felt as an 8 year old telling the class about my Grandpa and passing around the pictures.
I recall the devastation I felt when a High School friend who had joined the Army was killed in Iraq. I remember the his last trip home and how proud he was to be serving his country.
I think of Marine and of the sacrifices he has made during the past three and half years.
It's hard to imagine the things they go thru, all of it done for us here at home.
I for one am Thankful everyday for the sacrifices these Veteran's have made and are making on my behalf.
With that said I am now climbing up on my Soap Box.
I ran across this article today:
This article states,"A presidential commission on reducing the deficit has recommended freezing basic military pay and housing allowances for three years starting in 2011, according to a draft report of the commission’s recommendations posted online Wednesday."
My first thoughts are, they have got to be kidding, right?! I mean do they realize what the typical Military pay is?
My Marine is a GRUNT - which is lingo for infantryman. He is the one that is on the ground going into dangerous situations. His MOS: 0351 - Infantry Assualtman. I tell you this because the things I am about to tell you are based on this.
Fact: During his first year enlisted with the USMC Marine's total yearly pay was less than the poverty level.
Fact: The Median Income in 2009 for a Single Male in the United States was $36,611 (this information was found at the U.S. Census Bureau) -- I can tell you Marine made significantly less than that. And he was deployed to Iraq for the first 3 months of 2009.
Fact: "The president earns a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment." (Source)
While deployed to Afghanistan Marine received extra combat pay. A couple extra hundred dollars a month. A couple hundred dollars to put his life on the line.
Does Marine complain? No. He didn't join the Marines for the money. He joined because he wanted to serve his country.
Of all the friends I have in the Military I never hear them complain about what they make. They don't do it for the money.
These are the people that put their lives on the line for us. Who are fighting overseas as you read this. The ones who leave their families, their children when called to duty. They miss birthdays and holidays. The spend nights sleeping on the ground in foreign lands.
They do this for US.
And our government wants to pay them less?
I think the "Presidential Panel" should take a step back and reevaluate. Maybe they should consider taking a pay-cut themselves.
You and I both know that will never happen.
Either way I don't think our troops should receive a pay freeze of any kind.
Today I read this quote somewhere and I think it is quite fitting, "A Veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life."