An Airman Speaketh......

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Sun Sep 3 18:31:43 MDT 2000

Chilidoll sent this along....

Personally, I'd love to slap the woman who wrote concerning the overpaid
military, until she gains just a little sense.The way we treat our military
people is a crime and Clinton is making things worse for them as a way of
"getting back" with his hatred of the military and his own full-width yellow
stripe down his backside.

Overpaid Military (?)

On 12 Jan, Ms Cindy Williams wrote a piece for the Washington Times
denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members way this year citing that
the stated 13% wage gap was bogus.  A young airman from Hill AFB responds to
her article below....  he ought to get a bonus for this....

Ms.  Williams I just had the pleasure of reading your column of 12 Jan 00,
"Our GI's Earn Enough," and I am a bit confused.  Frankly, I'm wondering
where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it
disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting
Service) and my bank account.  Checking my latest leave and earnings
statement (LES), I see that I make $1,117.80, before taxes. After taxes, I
take home $874.20. When I run that through Windows'  Calculator, I come up
with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and  $10,490.40 after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center (AFNCC),  where I am part of
the team responsible for the administration of a 25,000 host computer
network.  I am involved with infrastructure management, specifically with
Cisco Systems equipment.  A  quick check of under
for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C.  area reveals a position in
my career field, requiring three years' experience with my job.

Amazingly, this job does NOT pay  $13,413.60 a year, nor does it pay less
than this.  No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum.
I'm sure you can draw the obvious  conclusions.  Also, you tout increases to
Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Sustenance (housing and
food allowances, respectively) as  being a further boon to an already
over-compensated force.  Again, I'm curious as to where this money has gone,
as BAH and BAS were both slashed 15% in the Hill AFB area effective in
January 00.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you have never had the
pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.

Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and
leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay
brackets off AFDC, WIC, and food stamps.  I suggest that you join a group of
deploying soldiers headed for Saudi - I leave the choice of service branch
to you.

Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the six month rotation it will
guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends,
thus giving you the full "deployment experience." As your group prepares to
board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying
goodbye to their loved ones.  Also take care to note that several families
are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary
breadwinner is gone obviously they've been squandering the vast piles of
the DOD has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas  and Thanksgiving are
favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a DFP (Defensive
Fire  Position, the modern-day foxhole), shivering against the cold desert
night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on
shift to  relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE you manage
to get for  the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco
to  everything.  Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it
won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and
thankful for it.  You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with
most of the points you present in your op-ed piece. But, tomorrow from
Voltaire, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment
rights and every other right you cherish.  On a daily basis, my brother and
sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your
collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and
under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best
and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability
and pay of civilian companies. And you, Ms.  Williams, have the gall to say
that we make more than we deserve?


A1C Michael Bragg
Hill AFB AFNCC DSN: 777_0743 COM: (801) 777_0743FAX: (801)  777_7176


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