In October 2010, this column examined “Retirement Benefits in Perspective.” It seems appropriate to consider active-duty pay and benefits similarly.
The Defense Business Board looks at numbers only when making recommendations about how veterans should be compensated in retirement, and is likely to take a similar approach to active-duty compensation. Here are some suggestions the board, and members of Congress, should consider for a more people-oriented approach:
Follow an E-3 single parent home from work and help him prepare dinner. Pay close attention to the quality and quantity of food in his pantry and then consider whether he is making too much.
Go to the grocery store with an E-4 and imagine her embarrassment as she makes her purchase with food stamps. She may, even in uniform, have to separate her milk, cheese, and baby formula to make sure she gets those items with Women, Infants, and Children coupons.
Talk to a single-parent sailor of nearly any pay grade about how difficult it is to find safe, affordable, and dependable child care so he can stand a cold, lonely watch in the middle of the night.