Essay by felix5College, UndergraduateA+, October 2005

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The U.S. service member is too unappreciated due to denied amenities, bureaucracy, and the lack of support from their fellow Americans. The times have changed and the moment of the past is gone. In the old days, I am sure that what our service members knew was more than enough. However, with today's longer deployments, cost of living and other variables like base closures throughout the country, there is a risk of going past the breaking point for the service member and the family.

I would like to start by asking a reasonable question "Why is it so hard to get the benefits that our service members deserve?" In the past eleven years that I have been in the service, I have experienced very few pay raises. Even the pay raises that we are receiving cannot compensate for the past decades that have been ignored. This may not be a problem for the single service member; however, married couples have to deal with this constant stress of simply serving.

Many will turn to food stamps and possible welfare to make ends meet. The basic housing allowance that is for a married service member is based on having just one dependent. Regardless if you have four members in your family you will still get the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate for just one dependant. Benefits like this will not persuade a service member to stay long in the service and retention in the service will undoubtedly hit an all time low as we are seeing now.

Dental and medical benefits are a big disappointment when compared to the standard that is set out side the military. Treatment in the service is administered by an intern medical officer that has no real experience. One can only imagine the more common...