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Comments by YACCS
Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraq, Qatar? Pays the same

A clerk in Qatar gets the same extra $7.50 they do

Nickle-and-Diming the Troops

Nowadays soldiers are considered pros who signed up to fight for our country, so they should shut up, suck it up and do what they’re being underpaid to do.

When I discussed this national shame with Lt. Col. Roger Charles, USMC (Ret.) and President of Soldiers For The Truth, he told me “Hack, you’ve only got it half right.”

Then he gave me the hot skinny that his organization has been studying what’s really going down with Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) in order to inform the American public and the U.S. Congress and hopefully cause change. “Combat pay is a misnomer. Today there’s no such thing as combat pay if you’re talking about extra pay that goes to those who actually trade rounds with the bad guys. Military personnel who serve in cushy posts hundreds of miles from Afghanistan and Iraq earn the same amount as those who kick in doors in Fallujah or drive fuel trucks through RPG Alley and IED Boulevard between Mosul and Baghdad.”

So 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.”

posted by Steve @ 3:26:00 AM

3:26:00 AM

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