Letter: Military personnel deserve better
My son is currently serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) in Washington state. He previously served four years in the Marine Corps, including a tour in Afghanistan.
Recently, he was injured during a training rotation and had to be flown to a nearby hospital for examination and treatment, where his entire uniform was cut off of him to facilitate treatment. Fortunately, his injuries turned out to be relatively minor and he was able to return to his company and complete his training.
During this training he received a couple of awards for his leadership. Upon returning to JBLM, he has to update his dress uniform and replace his service uniform that was cut off during his treatment. He will have to spend between $400 and $500 of his own money just to get these uniforms to regulation condition. The military provides him with $100 annual uniform allowance, which is clearly not enough to even begin to cover the total cost.
My son, who is 25, is also not allowed to live off base as he is still single. The military withholds money from his pay for meals at the chow hall. However, due to long hours training, organizing his platoon, and servicing equipment, he is rarely able to eat at the chow hall, as it is outside of their “normal hours of operation.” This means that he has to spend additional money for food, which should be provided by the military.
I believe it is a disgrace that we, as a nation, ask our military men and women to pay for the basic necessities, such as food and clothing. These men and women willingly forego better paying jobs and time with family to serve our country, and I feel we owe it to them to provide for their basic needs.
My son will miss spending time at home with the family this summer, not because he is deployed or can’t get leave, but because he will have to pay such a large sum of money just to replace his damaged service uniform and update his dress uniform.
Please join me in calling and/or writing our senators and congressmen and let them know our military deserve better.