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Tuesday, January 25

Supporting the Troops

Like those stupid magnetic stickers mean anything. The only thing they're supporting is the company that manufactures them. Just nag your elected officials to bring the soldiers home if you want to support the troops.

According to Hackworth, at Soldiers For The Truth, "the combat pay of the average grunt in Afghanistan and Iraq is only $7.50 a day or a measly $225 a month. And to make matters worse, the folks bringing up the rear – hundreds of miles from the horror show – are pulling down the same combat pay as our heroes who daily lay their lives on the line. "

How's that for appreciation of our troops? $7.50 a day. Don't give me that, "They signed up for it" bullshit. Most of them were railroaded or just joined because they were impoverished to begin with. What a scam. No wonder the neocon bullies don't want to do anything about the poor in our country. It would do away with suckers willing to put their lives on the line for $7.50/day extra.

Hack reports:
"...I made a few phone calls. And sure enough, the guys living the good life in places like Kuwait and Qatar – for example that bronzed, handsome lifeguard saving lives at the base pool – get the same $7.50 a day as our heroes facing the bear on the mean streets of Iraq and in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan .

"A soldier’s father reports that his son and his buddies – just back from Afghanistan – became very bitter when they went on R&R in Qatar and talked to Joes and Jills inside a fortress-like base so safe that soldiers are not authorized to carry individual weapons. And these lucky stiffs living in a relative paradise were also drawing combat pay!

"Another loophole creates an even more gross inequity: senior officers – read generals and colonels – regularly fly into Afghanistan and Iraq on monthly 48-hour useless VIP visits in order to both collect their combat pay for the entire month and rack up tax breaks that can run almost seven grand a month. Not bad double-headers for Perfumed Princes who can barely tell a foxhole from a bidet.

“The problem of our paying an equitable combat pay is the Pentagon’s bottom line,” says DefenseWatch Editor Ed Offley ( SFTT.ORG ). “Two years ago the ink hadn’t dried on the last Imminent Danger Pay increase when the Pentagon bean-counters were hustling to cut it.”

"There’s more to supporting the troops than slapping a bumper sticker on the back of your wheels or occasionally flying Old Glory and feeling good about vowing to bring freedom to the world. Trust me, making sure our valiant grunts get at least the equivalent of what the Greatest Generation received during the Big War would be far more meaningful. "
Col. David H. Hackworth ( USA Ret.) is co-founder and Senior Military Columnist for DefenseWatch magazine.

CLARIFICATION: Combat pay is in addition to regular pay.

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