Received this today in email...(A New Hanoi Jane?)January 30 2002 at 8:59 PM
|Debbie (no login)|
from IP address 22.214.171.124
not sure if all the circumstances are true or not-I guess a check of the Washington Times would ascertain the truth. True or just something someone made up, it is well written and very well on target, so I thought I'd share. Has anyone else seen this?!
Subject: A new Hanoi Jane???
On 12 November, Ms Cindy Williams (from the Laverne and Shirley TV show)
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!
I just had the pleasure of reading your column of 12 Nov, "Our GIs 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
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 5,000-host computer network.
I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems
equipment. A quick check under jobs 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
Also, you tout increases to Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance
for Subsistence (housing and food allowances, respectively) as being a
further boon to an already overcompensated 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 DOD 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 AFGHANISTAN, I leave the choice of service branch up 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 full "deployment experience".
As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and
children who are saying good-bye 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 cash the DOD has been giving
Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial
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 (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle
casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything,
This gives some flavor.
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 be 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 KABUL, 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?
Rubbish! A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC