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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nichole Berlie
NOV 24, 2021


(NewsNation Now) — Thanksgiving is a time when Americans come together with food, family and friends. But for many people, money is tight and times are hard. It’s forced them to rely on food banks and donations just to put food on the table.

It’s defined as food insecurity, and many Americans are dealing with it, including some you might least expect. Long before the pandemic, and despite a military budget of more than $700 billion, thousands of active-duty military families suffer from food insecurity.

“If we didn’t have family that was able to help, we definitely would have had to stay in our car a few nights,” said Brooklyn Pittman, a military spouse.

Low pay, single-income families, single-parent homes and pandemic job loss are among the many reasons American military families are struggling.

As many as 160,000 active service members have trouble feeding their families, according to Feeding America.

The National Military Family Association surveyed 11,000 military households and found 14% of them had been to a food pantry in the last year.

The problem has become so widespread that military-adjacent organizations such as the Armed Services YMCA and Blue Star Families have set up food banks near major military bases. Feeding America, which coordinates the work of more than 200 food banks across the country, says roughly 30% of troops in the most junior enlisted ranks report facing food insecurity during the previous year.

“It really depends on the time in service,” Navy Petty Officer James Bohanan told NewsNation. “I’ve only been here for five years. The longer you stay in, obviously, the more you get paid. So when you’re just starting out, it’s a lot tougher.”

Eileen Huck, the National Military Family Foundation’s senior director of government relations, said service members can outlast their financial hardship if they’re promoted over time, but still called it “a crisis and something that needs to be addressed.”

One solution is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps. But not all military personnel who need the program qualify for it, and the benefits are administered by each state and can vary depending on which one a survice member lives in.

“It’s actually very difficult for military families to access SNAP benefits, because their housing allowances are taken into consideration when calculating eligibility, which puts most military families above the threshold for eligibility for SNAP benefits,” Huck said.

It can be tougher for people who live in expensive areas, since that housing allowance needs to be even bigger, which inflates their income.

As recently as 2019, approximately 42 million Americans were receiving SNAP benefits, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That number includes 22,000 active-duty service members and 213,000 members of the National Guard or reservists. More than 1 million were veterans.

“USDA supports American heroes and aims to make certain our military members and their families have the assistance to meet their nutrition needs,” the department said in a statement. “We are currently reviewing our policy interpretations regarding basic allowance for housing to ensure that we are providing accurate access to SNAP for our dedicated military members and veterans.”

It’s a cause of embarrassment for American leaders as they see the very people we rely on to protect and defend this country struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced plans to increase housing payments to many troops and increase ways to combat hunger across the force.

Austin said troops have enough to worry about, and basic necessities including food and housing shouldn’t be among them.

“It’s very few jobs out there where you can say this, but if they’re not fully focused on the job at hand, it can be the difference between mission success or failure,” Dorene Ocamb of the Armed Services YMCA said. “And sometimes even life or death.”

The National Military Family Association is hoping to work with Congress to address the issue that’s preventing military families who need help accessing SNAP benefits.

You can find ways to support them at militaryfamilies.org.




 

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Joe is about to put a whole bunch of them back in the unemployment lines with his vax mandate. He's a problem solver! He's also having a nice Thanksgiving meal with a Billionaire donor. He's leading by example. All those hungry families of US servicemen should just go have dinner with a billionaire... simple...

We have an ALL volunteer military. Every person serving this country right now is doing so because they choose to do so and not because they would rather do something else. They have to score a reasonable high score on the ASVAB just to get in so they are among some of our best and brightest. They are highly trained in their particular jobs and are expected to perform their duties unfailingly. Ultimately they may be ordered to their deaths to protect our interests.

That they are treated in any way less than honorably by anyone, let alone their superiors (ie. Commander n Chief) is absolutely abhorrent. At the very least their families should be taken care of way ahead of anyone in this country illegally, or anyone else who is able bodied and unwilling to work.

Alan
 

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Live Free
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And this is not new! It might be worse today, but it has been hard for young soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to care for their families as long as I can remember. I remember working a part time job for a few years to make ends meet when I was an E4. That was not always possible depending upon your duty station and career field.
 

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This is the same BS I've heard for decades, even when I was a young enlisted Marine.

I just did the numbers, a young Marine Lance Corporal with 2 years or less in service, living in the San Diego area, with family and off base housing, that is deployed to a hazardous area will make just under $65,000 per year. That isn't poverty level by any stretch of the imagination.
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Even a Private with family, living in town (in San Diego) and not deployed is going to make a little over $58,000 per year. I retired in 2000 as a SSGT with over 20 years service and my pay, living in town, with dependents, in Yuma, Arizona was around $45,000, today I'd be making just over $73,000 per year. If I were deployed to a combat area on ship I'd be making over $80,000 per year. If I had been stationed around San Diego I'd be making over $100,000 per year while deployed.

Sorry, I don't see where they have a reason to cry about their pay.
 

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Salmon Slayer
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Back in the mid to late 70’s I was in the Army,?an E-4, single living in the barracks, only had a truck payment and I had it pretty good on $376 per month… YMMV
 

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This is the same BS I've heard for decades, even when I was a young enlisted Marine.

I just did the numbers, a young Marine Lance Corporal with 2 years or less in service, living in the San Diego area, with family and off base housing, that is deployed to a hazardous area will make just under $65,000 per year. That isn't poverty level by any stretch of the imagination.
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Even a Private with family, living in town (in San Diego) and not deployed is going to make a little over $58,000 per year. I retired in 2000 as a SSGT with over 20 years service and my pay, living in town, with dependents, in Yuma, Arizona was around $45,000, today I'd be making just over $73,000 per year. If I were deployed to a combat area on ship I'd be making over $80,000 per year. If I had been stationed around San Diego I'd be making over $100,000 per year while deployed.

Sorry, I don't see where they have a reason to cry about their pay.
I was also a young enlisted Marine and what you posted is mostly BS. You punched in numbers to give you a best case scenario to support your delusional argument and you used an extremely high cost of living area. Most young Marines aren't married with kids and living off base. Hazardous duty pay is only temporary while you are in an area that rates it. During my 8 years when I wasn't deployed I was living in the barracks. Most of the time I was deployed in the middle east we didn't rate hazard duty pay.
 

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An army marches on it's stomach. It would make sense, for the government to provide military members SNAP benefits first...
...oh, that's right, "it would make sense", NEVER MIND.
 

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Aim true !
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It's sad to read this. These folks put their lives on the line when active. And when their not deployed they do training to be ready. Those who protect us citizens and others in other countires should not need to bear the burden of feed their family's.
 

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I was also a young enlisted Marine and what you posted is mostly BS. You punched in numbers to give you a best case scenario to support your delusional argument and you used an extremely high cost of living area. Most young Marines aren't married with kids and living off base. Hazardous duty pay is only temporary while you are in an area that rates it. During my 8 years when I wasn't deployed I was living in the barracks. Most of the time I was deployed in the middle east we didn't rate hazard duty pay.
No, what I said wasn't BS but what you are claiming is.

Yes, I used numbers that were what I consider to be the average military guys that have families, the kind of people that need more money to support their dependents. The situation you describe is just a single military person that doesn't need all that much money because he has very few expenses. It's obvious to anybody with half an ounce of brains that if you live in the barracks you have no housing costs, you have no food costs, you have no medical or dental costs, and you have no dependents to support. If you deployed and didn't rate hazard duty pay then you were either in a barracks or on board ship, again, you have no real expenses at that point because there isn't any place to spend your money. What money you do spend is usually on a vehicle and partying.

But lets use the situation you described. If you only spent 8 years in then you were probably a Corporal or a Sergeant, so lets go with a Corporal (pretty lame after 8 years but it's possible and it's the least amount of pay). According to that Military.com pay calculator, you'd be making right at $34,000 per year, regardless of where you were stationed. But if you were at Camp Lejeune (a fairly low income area compared to other places in the country), that's not bad pay considering that you don't pay for housing, food, medical, or dental. That's around 275% over the poverty level for the average American who does have to pay for all those things. Economists estimate that the average American spends about 30% of their pay for housing, about 10% of their pay for food, and around 35% of their pay for healthcare. Since the Marine you are talking about doesn't have to pay for those things, he has about 75% more buying power than the average American that makes the same income. That means that his $34,000 per year income would give him the buying power of a person making about $60,000 per year. The median income in the Camp Lejeune area is about $47,000 per year, so having the buying power of a $60,000 per year income makes you pretty comfortable compared to the average civilian in that area (which is why so many of the females around military bases always thought that they'd be financially set if they could just marry a military guy). If you are stationed in a higher cost of living area with a higher median income for the average civilian (like Camp Pendleton with a median income of around $53,000 per year) then your pay is well under the median income for the area but your buying power is still higher than the median income...if you aren't stupid and partying your money away all the time.

And that's how it's been for most of the military for many decades. I joined in 1975 and my monthly pay as a Lance Corporal back then ( I was a contract Lance Corporal and pinned my stripes on upon graduating boot camp) was $398.40, that's about 1/5 of what a Lance Corporal makes today and I had no problem saving money and buying things without too much concern for what I had in the bank...unless I partied every weekend, then I was broke after the first or second weekend of the month. Yes, I had to make a budget if I wanted to save up for something expensive but that's true for everybody, unless you earn over 7 figures a year.

But the bottom line is that no, my post isn't BS, it's fact, your comment is BS simply because you just complain that you didn't have any money without explaining where it went. I don't know when you served but if I was able to get along fairly well and you weren't, then the only conclusion I can come to is that you spent your money unwisely and caused your own problems. If you were like most young Marines, you probably spent most of your money in bars and partying, that doesn't mean that you didn't make enough money, it just means that you were irresponsible with what pay you had.
 

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Live Free
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I remember when I first enlisted and was getting about $63 twice a month back in 1971. The year before the military received a rather large pay raise and my pay almost doubled, and I got promoted. Left in 1972 for Vietnam and Thailand for almost 18 months, and upon returning to a most unwelcoming nation at the time, I got married and started raising a family. I guess that was irresponsible too since I was not issued a wife or children? Mid 70’s we’re tough raising a family. Like I said earlier, I worked a part time job off base to supplement our income while I also focused on serving and doing my very best so as to get promoted. Being that I was in a relatively small career field, stripes were few so you had to outscore everyone. Working for promotion and working a second job to eat was tough at times. This is not a complaint necessarily, but a statement of fact. One thing for sure, the lower ranking pay was incentive to do one of two things. Either work hard to get promoted or get out. Those who would strive would remain and the rest just got out.

Our enlisted service members earn every penny they get, and I think a bit more too!
 

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My original post was simply my opinion that today's military are compensated pretty well, compared to when I was in the service. When I was single, in the early 1970's, I didn't do too bad, but when I got married I was just making it, especially since I lived in on-base housing and I didn't get any kind of housing allowance. I remember that I re-enlisted for a bonus that I used to pay off my furniture bills and I worked a construction job on the side. So I'm not saying that the military has ever been rich by any means, but I am saying that modern military personnel have a better income than ever before and the article that the OP referenced is not very realistic.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am saying that modern military personnel have a better income than ever before...
Yup, and the cost of living is higher than it ever has been. Military pay has not kept up with increases in the cost of living in the US.
 

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No, what I said wasn't BS but what you are claiming is.

Yes, I used numbers that were what I consider to be the average military guys that have families, the kind of people that need more money to support their dependents. The situation you describe is just a single military person that doesn't need all that much money because he has very few expenses. It's obvious to anybody with half an ounce of brains that if you live in the barracks you have no housing costs, you have no food costs, you have no medical or dental costs, and you have no dependents to support. If you deployed and didn't rate hazard duty pay then you were either in a barracks or on board ship, again, you have no real expenses at that point because there isn't any place to spend your money. What money you do spend is usually on a vehicle and partying.

But lets use the situation you described. If you only spent 8 years in then you were probably a Corporal or a Sergeant, so lets go with a Corporal (pretty lame after 8 years but it's possible and it's the least amount of pay). According to that Military.com pay calculator, you'd be making right at $34,000 per year, regardless of where you were stationed. But if you were at Camp Lejeune (a fairly low income area compared to other places in the country), that's not bad pay considering that you don't pay for housing, food, medical, or dental. That's around 275% over the poverty level for the average American who does have to pay for all those things. Economists estimate that the average American spends about 30% of their pay for housing, about 10% of their pay for food, and around 35% of their pay for healthcare. Since the Marine you are talking about doesn't have to pay for those things, he has about 75% more buying power than the average American that makes the same income. That means that his $34,000 per year income would give him the buying power of a person making about $60,000 per year. The median income in the Camp Lejeune area is about $47,000 per year, so having the buying power of a $60,000 per year income makes you pretty comfortable compared to the average civilian in that area (which is why so many of the females around military bases always thought that they'd be financially set if they could just marry a military guy). If you are stationed in a higher cost of living area with a higher median income for the average civilian (like Camp Pendleton with a median income of around $53,000 per year) then your pay is well under the median income for the area but your buying power is still higher than the median income...if you aren't stupid and partying your money away all the time.

And that's how it's been for most of the military for many decades. I joined in 1975 and my monthly pay as a Lance Corporal back then ( I was a contract Lance Corporal and pinned my stripes on upon graduating boot camp) was $398.40, that's about 1/5 of what a Lance Corporal makes today and I had no problem saving money and buying things without too much concern for what I had in the bank...unless I partied every weekend, then I was broke after the first or second weekend of the month. Yes, I had to make a budget if I wanted to save up for something expensive but that's true for everybody, unless you earn over 7 figures a year.

But the bottom line is that no, my post isn't BS, it's fact, your comment is BS simply because you just complain that you didn't have any money without explaining where it went. I don't know when you served but if I was able to get along fairly well and you weren't, then the only conclusion I can come to is that you spent your money unwisely and caused your own problems. If you were like most young Marines, you probably spent most of your money in bars and partying, that doesn't mean that you didn't make enough money, it just means that you were irresponsible with what pay you had.
Blah blah blah tl;dr. Let me know when your publishing company is done with this book. Oh and your post is still full of BS. Now I see the problem you joined 2 years after I was born. You are just a grumpy old fart who has no clue what it's like 46 years after you joined.
 

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Blah blah blah tl;dr. Let me know when your publishing company is done with this book. Oh and your post is still full of BS. Now I see the problem you joined 2 years after I was born. You are just a grumpy old fart who has no clue what it's like 46 years after you joined.
Wow, sounds to me like you're the grumpy one. I was able to handle 5 combat tours and I finished 20 years in the Corps, I think I'm just a bit more familiar with the realities of the military than a guy that only did 8 years. I get retirement monies and know how well they cover my bills daily and it's been years since you had to figure out how to use your federal pay check, I think you're the guy that has no clue what it's like. But hey, we are each free to have our own opinions.
 

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Are you two even on the same team? As in, you're both Americans? Who effing cares if one of you is right and the other is wrong. It's the internet, fer cryin' out loud.

Jeez.......

--Wag--
 
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