01 November, 2016
Our freedoms are protected by some of the best men and women our country has put forth. They give us more than what we give back. Yet, we have some of these military members on food stamps. Why is it that our soldiers are paid so little for the enormous amount that they do for us? There are many that are in financial trouble and have to live paycheck to to paycheck. This is not how we should be giving back to our military.
It is true that our military is paid more than their civilian counterpart, but only by a little. They work twenty-four hours a day seven days a week, compared to the average nine to five hours civilians work merely five days a week. In “Comparing military pay and benefits to civilian jobs”, Military.com argues that the military gets many benefits unlike civilians, but don’t they deserve that. Although all of this may be the case, it is important to note that our military carries much more responsibility. On Themilitarywallet.com, Ryan Guina makes an effort to indicate that in the recent decade the government has made an effort to raise, with the most recent pay increase at 1.6 percent. This is a step towards solving this problem, however, a pay increase can only do so much on a low minimum wage. Now, I know that our military isn’t paid on a minimum wage, but on a paygrade scale based on rank and years of service. An average enlisted service member will make the paygrade of E-5 and serve the normal four year service term. According to the 2017 Military Pay Chart, in that members fourth year of service at E-5, he or she would make $31,872 that year. This reflects the 1.6% pay increase, but not the possible bonus or special pays he or she might receive which won’t make to big of a difference either. This also isn’t what a service member would make in their first year. In the first year they minimally would make close to $20,000. It is easy to see how this would be difficult for someone to live off of especially with a family. I believe that they should earn more for how much they do.
As a grandson and nephew of previous service members, I see first hand the stress and financial situations they are in. Thankfully, after their service they were able to find well paying jobs. It is safe to say as well that at the time when they served they made less than they do now. My uncle started on food stamps after he left the service. A veteran does not deserve that. In the past decade the number of veterans on food stamps has decreased greatly, but why are there any on them? This problem can be solved by first raising the minimum pay for each paygrade. This would make a lasting difference to our service members. Each year, the amount of money put towards the defense budget is established. It is true that a lot of the money goes to defense, sometimes 60%, however, how much of that goes to pay instead of technology and weaponry advancements. I believe a bigger portion of our defense budget should shift to military pay.
We need to do more to help our service members and we can start by increasing their pay. They do so much for us and they give us the freedoms that we enjoy everyday. It is up to you, the next President of the United States to make a difference. Will you continue to let them live on food stamps, and barely live paycheck to paycheck or will you give them a better pay and make their lives easier as they have already experienced hardships unimaginable to a regular civilian.
Guina, Ryan. "Do Military Members Get Paid Enough?" The Military Wallet. N.p., 09 June 2008. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
"Comparing Military Pay and Benefits To Civilian Jobs." Military.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
"2017 Military Pay Charts." Military.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.