My Response to the “Infamous” Huffington Post Article

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Response Hunffington Post
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Many of you may have seen the recent article that has gone viral called, “After Decade of Lavish Benefits, Military Personnel Fear Cuts.” The title of the article was soon changed sometime after it went viral, but it did not mask the obvious unfamiliarity the author of the article has of military families, their benefits, and pay. If you are a military spouse, the very first paragraph is liable to make you upset. It says:

“For more than a decade, Congress and the Pentagon have lavished money on the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty troops and their families. Salaries and benefits soared far above civilian compensation, military bases and housing were refurbished, support services like day care, family counseling and on-base college courses were expanded.”

I won’t quote the entire article, but the author goes on to say that, “…between 2001 and 2009 the average enlisted military member was earning $50,747 in base pay and housing — not including other allowances and bonuses.” These two quotes alone are enough to make most of the military community very upset.

Because I am a military spouse I decided to post this article on Facebook. I was a little surprised at the response I was given because I posted the article and because I was upset that one-by-one we as military families are getting our benefits taken away. Most of the responses I received were military spouses who were also upset by this article, but through some of the messages I received I was told that I was not being grateful for what we do have. That I should be grateful for these benefits because they are better then what most civilians receive, and because my son would not be able to have therapy without it.

My response? I am grateful. I am very grateful for the benefits we have been given. My son is able to go to therapy for his Autism, up until recently my husband was able to go to school, and I am grateful for the little things like military leave and our current base housing. Yes, I am grateful, but that does not mean I am not upset. That does not mean that I am not upset that the benefits that my husband was told he would be given upon joining the military are now being taken away. That does not mean that I don’t have a right to stand up for something I believe is wrong.

Yes, my family has good insurance coverage, but did you know that I miscarried due to a medical malpractice at our base clinic? Yes, my son’s therapy is mostly paid for, but did you know that we can barely afford the gas money to get to those therapies? Did you know we have had to have help from outside sources to manage so that he CAN go to these therapies? Yes, I am a stay-at-home mom, but did you know that my family only makes roughly about 35,000-40,000 a year, and has to be on WIC?

While people may think that military families make more than civilians or that we have better benefits, how do you put a value on the sacrifices the military family makes? What about the ones who have died? The ones who are injured? The veterans? The ones with PTSD or TBI? What are their benefits? Is there no value in their sacrifices?

Believe it or not, I am so very grateful for our lives as a military family. It has taught me so much and has helped me grow. It has helped me make so many  friends and helped me see into the lives of so many amazing people. But as a Christian, I do not believe it’s wrong to be upset over what is happening to our military. My heart hurts for our military families and for what they have given, and I only want to see right done by them. If you think that is ungrateful, then I am sorry, but I don’t agree.


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  1. I don’t know how I missed the first article. It’s very upsetting. I’m sharing your response. I’m thankful everyday for my husband’s job and the benefits we receive.

  2. When we were in the military the pay was so little that we qualified for WIC. Which to me means the military is not lavishly paid. My son is thinking of asking for an early out since Tuition Assistance was cancelled. That is what the recruiter drew him in with. He wants to be a pilot. You need to have your college degree first, the recruiter said, “Join now, work with air craft and we’ll pay for your schooling to become a pilot”. I think if they are going to make cutbacks with the military, they need to grandfather the benefits that drew members in in the first place. Does that make sense?

    1. That’s exactly what my husband did. Started out as a crew chief, cross-trained to flight engineer, finished his degree WITH tuition assistance, then got his commission and went to pilot school. It’s a great plan! I hope he’s able to use the assistance and other benefits that helped him make his decision to join in the first place. Good luck!

  3. My husband’s military career has been greatly affected by the budget cuts. He hasn’t been able to advance the past five times he has taken an advancement test (even though he passed the test every single time) due pay cuts and his current rate being overmanned. This year, after proudly serving for 9 years, he was told he had three opinions–he could join the reserves, cross-rate, or leave the Navy. We have a son that requires constant medical care, so the stress from not knowing if my husband was going lose his Tricare insurance has been extremely stressful on us. My husband decided to join the reserves but now he is being told he will still have to cross-rate (choose a new job). We are currently waiting to see if he will be selected for the rate he chose. He thankfully was able to find a civ job..but now we are worried he might lose it if he has to go to A-school to learn his new Navy rate.

    It’s really sad that people like my husband that planned to serve their country and retire doing so are now being forced out or are not receiving the benefits they have earned. Maybe that makes me a spoiled military wife for feelin that way but I really don’t think we ask for much.

  4. I am grateful for the benefits, and our military life has a lot fewer worries than our civilian life. I think there’s a fine line to walk. I get upset when mil wives complain a lot because honestly I think the pay and benefits ARE way more than you could get anywhere else with a high school education. My husband took a pay cut to enlist, but he has a BA. But I am mad about the tuition assistance. It’s a publicity stunt to get the biggest public outcry. There are other places they could cut without going back on promises they made their employees.

  5. ugh. I agree with everything you have said! I was so thankful for everything we had while my husband was in the military, but It is just wrong to take out the bad decisions our government has made on the service members and their families!

  6. I was accused of not being grateful for what we as military families receive. This upset me so much because I do greatly appreciate our life. My husband is a musician I know that there is no way on this green earth that he could do what he loves and still provide for his family in the manner that being in the military does.

    However, that article upset because I feel like it gave Americans the idea that we live better than middle class America. This simply isn’t true! I don’t find be able to qualify for tax credits because of our low income having it better or being “lavish”. Four years ago without our housing benefit and COLA (we were overseas), my husband’s base pay was BELOW the poverty line. He was supporting a family of four. We haven’t been lavished upon by anyone! Our men and women deserve those benefits because they sacrifice so much for our country!

    Oh and this whole thing came at a time when my child’s swim team is losing their pool because of the sequestration cuts. I think as a parent I’m allowed to be angered and upset by this guys portrayal of our military life.

    I pray every day that there is resolution!

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