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Not exactly. But here are couple of stories that defy recent "conventional wisdom".
Recently the DoD was pressured to launch a much-publicized repayment program for troops that purchased their own protective gear prior to deploying to Iraq.
"Rumsfeld is violating the law," Dodd said. "It's been sitting on the books for over a year. They were opposed to it. It was insulting to them. I'm sorry that's how they felt."The program has been in effect since October. Thus far
Dodd said men and women in uniform "are serving halfway around the world. And they shouldn't have to rely on bake sales and lemonade stands to raise money" to get them the equipment they need.
"The bottom line is that Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department are failing soldiers again," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth, an advocacy group for Iraq veterans.
"It just became an accepted part of the culture. If you were National Guard or Reserve, or NCOs, noncommissioned officers, you were going to spend a lot of money out of your pocket," said Rieckhoff, who was a platoon leader with the 3rd Infantry Division and served in Iraq from the invasion in March 2003 to spring 2004.
Just 29 Army soldiers have sought reimbursement so far for body armor and other equipment they bought to protect themselves on the front lines.Although some are claiming the low number is because the Defense Department hasn't aggressively publicized the program.
Speaking of reservists spending money out of pocket:
Reserve Members On Active Duty Earn More, Pay Study SaysThe financial compensation will never be enough. But this is the problem with exagerating claims of hardship - credibility drops. The real truth would be a better place to start the debate. Similar games are played with numbers of wounded and just about every other aspect of the war. Invariably a chest-thumping congressman appears - usually well lit by camera flashes.
Nearly three-fourths of military reservists called to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq are taking home more money on duty than in their civilian jobs, according to a study on military pay released Wednesday.
News coverage of the National Guard and Reserves often focuses on the financial hardships of its members. In 2004, the Defense Department conducted a survey of reservists in which more than half said they lost income when they were deployed.
However, the RAND study found that only about one-fourth of reservists suffered a loss in income after being activated. RAND researchers compared Social Security earnings data for servicemembers before deployment with Defense Department records afterward.
Yes, I agree that all data needs to be looked at and this RAND study is FLAWED from the outset. Two comments: First, they conveniently used "Social Security Earnings". Well, SS earnings are CAPPED at $90,000 which conveniently restricts the average. So, lets take a person who makes $150k per year and is recalled via a forceable IRR recall. The RAND study would show that this person was making $90,000 (Cap). So, see how the average now goes down?
Or, lets take a person who works on commission or a person who runs an investment company. They are capped when they may be making $200k plus.
So, this study is really quite crazy. Why would they not use full W-2 Earnings? Or, better yet, use the full AGI from their 1040? That would tell the story.
The final thing I would say is that IF we believe this RAND to be true then lets stop saying that the Military makes less than their civilian counterparts.Posted by Kevin at January 29, 2006 02:09 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(1) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)