Last week, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, stated that cuts in the budget is going to force the legislature to think about military pay cuts. Usually I don’t pay much attention to these things because I believe that most congressmen or women know that it would be political suicide to reduce the pay of our troops. However, I do think that feelings are changing even though we are fighting 2 wars, 3 if you want to count Libya. The fact that Gates mentioned it publicly tells me that they are thinking about changing the pay structure. Maybe not our actual salaries, but something is going to change. I remember when we changed over to Tricare. What a nightmare that was! It all worked out, and we learned to deal, but I can’t tell you if it is better or not. I do know that when my husband enlisted retirees did not pay anything for healthcare. That is no longer the case.
My husband has decided that he wants to go to graduate school, and in an attempt to locate some paperwork I came across an old LES of his. From 1994. I hadn’t even had my oldest yet. He had mailed it to me from the ship (he was deployed and you had to get your LES from the disbursing people). I don’t know why I saved all of them, but it is pretty funny. We are reminded on the bottom of the LES to “Watch our savings grow-buy bonds”. It is also interesting that this was before BAH. We were paid BAQ and then a VHA supplement for a grand total of $500. I remember the rent for our 1 bedroom hole-in-the-wall was $450. There was a reason that base housing had long waiting lists. We did all right though even though his taxable income matched the number of months in a year. I had to laugh at that. I am not sure what was worse, the paycheck or 3 section duty with duty weekends. Those were awful.
I just think it is interesting, and I had fun reminiscing. I am glad that the military makes so much more now. They work hard, and they know their stuff. Even still, I can’t imagine lawmakers cutting our pay. Retirement or health benefits, yes. Pay, no. But then, what do I know?