On Monday night I watched Dancing With The Stars and the former candidate was there to watch her daughter, commedable...while I disagree with 98% of her politics and I think she's a kook, I stand by her right as a mom to be there. The controversy over whether the boos from the audience was for her or the judges scores for fan faves derrick and jennifer 'dirty dancing' grey is a moot point for some and fodder for other pundits. Where I really part with her was her comment about hockey moms being so tough, blah , blah here's a news flash sweet cheeks- your ass couldn't hold a candle to a military mom!
I want to see any politician raise a family on an enlisted paycheck...they would be running with their tails tucked between their legs crying for mercy by the end of the first week. In the "studies" they use the payscale for officers, significantly higher than the grunts who have to be ready to report at a moments notice.
For an E5 with 10 years of service, his base pay is 2907 a month before taxes. This number is from http://www.navycs.com/2010-military-pay-chart now, deduct taxes because yes the military does pay taxes and social security, and state taxes if their home of record has it. Now deduct a car payment, insurance, and buy groceries for a family of 5- the standard 3 kids, mom and dad. How much do you think is left? Now, phone bill- they have to be able to reach you. Cable because you can't afford to go out..what's left? Now buy uniforms for the service member because contrary to popular belief, they ain't free. And you have to piece it out over a few paychecks. Now let a kid need to see a dentist...no that isn't a provided medical service, it's an out of pocket expense. Surprised? Eye opener? Now lets look at housing, did you notice that was left out? There is a "housing allowance" it doesn't cover the full cost of rent and utilities.
Food stamps, yeah, if you can wade through the paperwork, usually the military makes 3 or 4 dollars a month too much for benefits. If they have less than 10 yrs, yeah, usually they get them in a heartbeat. Walk into a commissary on a payday and watch as the spouses hit the registers with carts already separated out, its training. The at home parent learns early on, if your kid wants to play sports, the cost is covered by grandparents as a birthday present or just because. Music lessons? yeah, that doesn't happen either.
Now let's look at the average serviceman in Iraq/Afghanistan now- E3 with less than three years in-1923.00 a month, now start deducting. IF they are lucky they live in base housing and it's "the good ones", otherwise its classified as substandard and you get a few dollars added to your check for living in next to unsafe circumstances. Yeah, thats a comfort.
So, Sarah, while your kid plays hockey and has all the privelages, the military kid learns to play on the street in front of the house, turns in soda cans for movie money(rentals only) and wishes they could afford that 200.00 stick. You think you're a bad ass? I dare you to live on an E5 pay for a month- you couldn't do it and neither could any of those candy ass senators that left the soldiers in limbo until Dec. when we find out if they get paid or not. Semper Fi.