Someone asked me if we REALLY make that little… not as if I was lying but that it’s SO hard to believe. I mean, it’s the military! These are the men and women who are defending our rights to complain about everything under the sun from Facebook’s new profile pages coming out in the coming weeks and months to actually being able to PROTEST funerals of those fallen soldiers. Surely they’re given more.
Truth be told, you can Google Military Pay 2011 to see how much your favorite soldier is dodging bullets for this year. Doesn’t matter your branch of the military… the pay stays the same. There are other things that go into it (like time in service, etc…) but the very basic pay is standard. From that, taxes are paid (except in certain cases), including our state because our ‘home state’ has income tax. We don’t live there, but we’re still paying in to the taxes. We pay for our dental insurance.
But, you may say, you get housing.
Yes, and for that I am grateful but it’s not like when you’re out in the world living where you want. Truly, my neighborhood is akin to Section 8 in the worst part of town. I mean, I am trying to make the best of it by keeping my little square of front yard clean and nice looking but it’s pretty hard when the neighborhood kids and their parents let trash fly everywhere… no less than three times a day my kids or I are out there picking up cigarette butts (and we don’t smoke), candy wrappers, paper napkins, etc… and calling does nothing other earn us dirty looks from our neighbors because they got tattled on.
My house has lead paint in it. Yes, that very paint that can take your Rhode Scholar to a drooling, banjo-playing hick in a matter of a few paint chips. You know, if it doesn’t kill you first. I will have to take the baby and smaller kids to have their levels monitored. That means blood drawls. Believe it or not, kids don’t like having needles shoved in their arms.
I’m constantly getting yelled at for where I park. There’s not enough parking for our house near our house, in our driveway, so I park in the parking spot closest to the house that isn’t assigned to one of the apartments. It just so happens to be the visitor’s parking. All of the other houses have enough frontal space that they can have one car in the driveway and one in front of their house. But, because of how ours is laid out, it would block the next door neighbor’s drive way, even though it’s in front of my house. Instead, they park their other car in front of my house, so I get to look out across my trashed lawn (again) and see their car just sitting there.
The floodlights shine in our window at night and light the room like day time. I’ve contemplated sneaking over there and changing out their light bulbs or shooting them out with a BB gun, but instead I put dark curtains up in the window and it blocks most of the light out.
Some would even say that we have awesome healthcare given to us.
Well, it’s not really given to us, and we have less choice in our care than those on Medicaid. When we were on medicaid, we got to choose our PCP and had a say in our care. The providers were friendly and happy to see us, which makes a big difference when you are going in and you don’t feel well. Here, they make it as hard as possible to get an appointment, you’re bumped for people who are more important to the military than you (remember when I was bumped because a high ranking official hurt his widdle shoulder-poo and he had an entourage… and you know what, if you’re laughing and cutting up, you aren’t THAT hurt that my appointment should be bumped… I don’t care who you are). They make it a challenge to get the correct medicines that you need and the ER… I flat out said if I ever need an ER… I probably would die before I was ever seen.
I get that since it’s ‘given’ to us, I shouldn’t be so picky, but I figure that my health will be with me beyond the military, I think I should have a say on how things are handled.
For all these benefits, my husband and the husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, all get to be soldiers. They get to leave their families for long stretches of time, get shot at, screamed at, hated (even Stateside, you should see the reaction some give soldiers). There are birthdays, and Christmases, holidays, and major life events that are missed. Soldiers return from their missions broken, aged, horrified, and damaged (even if you can’t always see it). Many families are torn apart, unable to cope with the sudden, drastic changes. The hours are horrendous, the danger real, and the effects last the rest of their lives.
So, to those who wonder why any military person would complain about their pay, would you lay down your life to work the drive through at McDonalds for well under minimum wage? No, you wouldn’t, but it’s okay for a soldier to. Good to know.