NOTE: Parts of this blog were lated quoted and used in a news report on the subject at Newsy.com. Please scroll to the end for the video.
There are so many things about this that bother me. Not the least of which is that it is affecting soldiers and their famiies at all. What kind of thanks is that to service members and their families, especially those currently in one theater or another? As it is, military families are not rich families. Yes, we have benefits, but even adding those to the dollar amount of our take home pay, we still do not make anything even close to proportionate to the sacrifices and dangers that the job brings. These men and women regularly risk their lives and this is how politicians choose to thank them? That is a slap in the face to both the military members, and the families that support them.
Yes, my family can make it through a shutdown with relative ease. We will have to cut some corners, but, provided it doesn’t last too overly long, we should be fine. We are a larger family with one income, and 4 kids, one of which is in college. But my husband is also an E6 and we have some savings. Not every military family is that lucky. This shutdown could negatively affect some of the lower enlisted families in a pretty severe way. I hear civilians making asinine comments about how “if the military wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one”. That is such an ignorant comment and ridiculous at that. Guess what? We in the military have the right to families, too, and most people don’t expect this to be a consideration in their future when they are beginning their families. Then I hear comments about all of our benefits. Yes, we have excellent benefits, but they don’t add anything to our bank account in a time of financial need. Yes, we have programs to help families in need, but if we are in a financial shutdown, those programs are not going to be available because they are by and large funded by federal funds.
The other thing that bothers me is the lack of clarity about the situation that is being put out there. The sensational headlines created to grab attention are doing just that, but too many people are not reading beyond those sensationalist words. I have seen it all over Twitter and Facebook and in my dealings with other military wives. All people see is that the military won’t get paid and then get panicked and put that out there, spreading the panic and fear to even more people. And those people in turn panic and spread even more fear, and so on. But that the military won’t get paid isn’t really accurate. Essentially, pay could be delayed, but we won’t lose out on the pay earned over the days of shutdown. It is simply held, paid when the government is online again. Chances are, even if there is a shutdown, it will be resolved before the next pay day on the 15th. If that happens, then none of us should see a difference in our bank accounts. If it extends beyond that, it is said that we will recieve half our pay due, essentially one week’s pay, on the next pay day. While, yes, that would suck, it is a damn sight better than no pay due at all. And any pay missed will be paid out after the fact.
But let me make it clear. I have always been and still am a diehard Obama-supporter, and this does not change that. It’s easy to forget the previous 8 years that brought us to this point and blame the man left to pick up the pieces. I think too many people get stuck on a single aspect or single thing they don’t like about the administration and refuse to see beyond that. It’s easy to judge an administration’s choices, but sometimes there are other variables other than the obvious that have led to those decisions. I don’t know that many of us are qualified to be able to judged with any true legitmacy. I just wish people would educate themselves a little more before spreading misinformation and fear. I also wish people could be more open-minded and respectful of other people’s opinions.
If the video below will not load, the video is also here.