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24 August 2011

just my two cents.

disclaimer: Most of the time I'm not very vocal publicly about how I feel about things that are in any way related to politics, but in this case I wanted to say something. I'm sure there are a lot who don't agree with me and never will, but hopefully I can provide some insight for those who are interested.


Our nation demands much from its military, & the retirement benefits in place are not gifts,they have been earned through blood, sweat, toil, repeated deployments, missed births, birthdays, anniversaries & sometimes loss of limbs or life. Shifting the burden of our nation’s fiscal mess on to the backs of our military-less than one percent of our population who volunteer for decades of service in harm’s way defending our way of life-is morally bankrupt.

-GEN Sullivan, USA, Retired
If you aren't aware, the topic of "messing" with military retirement has caused quite a stir (uproar may be a more appropriate term actually) within the military community.

Personally, part of me thinks "Well, the entire country is having to cut back on benefits and stuff so why should we be any different?"

But realistically, and overwhelmingly, I realize "If the military doesn't have benefits, who will do the job????"

I try to be as positive as possible on here (well, since Rob joined the army. I do have some whiny posts before then) because I don't want to wallow in the bad stuff. This life is hard enough without focusing on the bad; to survive you HAVE to focus on the good. Otherwise you won't make it.

But to be frank, it stinks. Big time. For both of us. Rob works long hours (think 12-14 hour days all week every week. He gets up at 5am most days, but has plenty of days where he has to be at work at 3am. Or 4am. Or anywhere in between. And doesn't usually get home until 6:30/7), plus is gone A LOT (like, all of May, June, and half of July. And random weeks. And days.) Thankfully he's not deployed. But when he is he'll be gone for a YEAR. Not to mention that his job is dangerous. Even when you aren't deployed. The equipment he works with can kill him (and his guys) if something goes wrong. And if you ARE deployed you have the added danger of people trying to kill you. Does any of that sound fun?

But Rob does it day in and day out, and I put up with it day in and day out because of one thing; the life it has provided for us.

It is all worth it because we are taken care of (although to some people that is debatable... talk to a wife whose husband has been deployed 5 times. Or whose husband lost a limb. Or died.).

But more importantly, for my soldier it feels good to know he is a part of what keeps this country safe.

So the least you can do is thank him and his guys by allowing them to live in peace once their time of chaos is over.

And ultimately, it will be MORE expensive for the government if they do change retirement; it will get to the point where the military will have no senior NCO's or officers because no one will have any incentive to stay in. Instead they'll fulfill their contract (usually 3-5 years) then get out because it's not worth it to put up with all the crap you do in the military. Thus there will be a constant turnover, which will cost a TON because all the new people will have to be trained before they can step in to replace the people who left. And if you don't know, training costs a lot. And is time spent not actually doing the job that needs to be done.

Also, if you think the military isn't necessary you are incredibly naive. We have been blessed to not have any more attacks on US soil since 9/11, but it isn't because the world holds us in high esteem. There are lots of people still out there who think America is the enemy and want nothing more than to kill us. You think all the bombings in other parts of the world are completely isolated from us? If terrorists had their way, we would be dealing with just as many bombings (or more). We have enjoyed this safety because our military is the best trained in the world and have been working non-stop (in conjunction with the other government agencies like the FBI, CIA, etc.) to keep the US citizens out of harm's way.

Oh, and it doesn't seem like a good idea to mess with the people who are in direct control of the country's big guns. Just sayin'.


  1. THANK YOU. People do not understand this at all. A couple months ago, a friend of mine, who is not in the military, told me she was annoyed when people thanked the soldiers for their service because, in her mind, they are not doing anything. What am I supposed to say to that? There is already no compensation for the work they put in....now take away the end benefit. No thank you. Chris is gone all of May and September working 24/7. We figured out that is the work of 18 weeks for someone who puts in 40 hours a week at a regular job. Over 4 months of work into one month. Stinks, but like Rob, Chris does it because of the life he wants for us and the things he believes in serving for. Anyway, you can add my two cents to yours and we can start a new retirement fund with it. :)

  2. I can't imagine the stress you go through! We are all thankful for those who serve. I hope they start treating them better!

  3. Very well said! Actually, not many people know but a new law/rule was put in place a few months ago. Starting January 1st, 2012, anyone (anyone in any position) who deploys after this date can only be deployed for 9 months. I think it's about time too. Way too many families are put under too much stress having their husband, son, or father gone for 12-18 months. Also, you're right, if they take away benefits, no one will stay in for longer than a few years.

  4. My father fought in Vietnam and suffers from PTSD, which has completely changed the course of his life and my family's life. The least the government can do is ease the stress of worrying about things like retirement and health care because they can never give back what he sacrificed.