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Military Wages: Astoundingly Less Than You May Think

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By Samantha Horvath:

In ancient times, the times of the Romans, Greeks, and Spartans, warriors and mercenaries were of the highest paid profession a person could do or possess. These war heroes and warriors were treated like gods among men, exalted above all others, except the King or Leader. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case in modern times, becoming an increasingly frustrating situation for most soldiers. For a group of people who depend heavily on the backs of their brothers, this becomes even more debilitating when the country and government they serve, readily and easily throws them to the wayside without even a second thought. Soldiers of today, have become expendable to the people who have their noses in the air running the country.

The average soldier makes a pittance compared to an average salary. This notion becomes even more ridiculous and unacceptable when the level of danger is taken into consideration. These young men and women who fight for this beautiful country make pennies, practically next to nothing, for the work they actually do. And worse yet, no one seems to care. There are members in Congress and the Senate who have been there for years, claim they are all for our military, military families, and veterans, but they continue to do absolutely nothing for these men and women. Whether they are serving stateside, in country, or as veterans. They are all equally ignored by the people they are fighting for.

Now, when it comes down to the actual specifics of pay grades in terms of years of service, I will break it down for you, so you can see how truly despicable it is. The average pay, among all of the branches of the military, for a soldier going through basic as an E1, is roughly about 1500 bucks a month. Considering, these soldiers are ‘at work’ 100 percent of the time while in basic, this equates to about 2.08 an hour, in a 30-day month. If that doesn’t make you think twice, that a soldier makes the same as a waitress an hour without even counting their tips, then you should rethink your priorities. Especially with this popular new train of thought that these teeny boppers working at fast food places want 15 bucks an hour to put together sandwiches.

Essentially, these minimum wage, minimum skill, high school kids want to make 15 an hour to do, practically, nothing, when thousands of kids their own age are enlisting to make 2 dollars an hour.  If that’s not enough, they will make 13 dollars less than these kids in McDonalds, but have the chance of getting shot and killed in the line of duty, and coming home in a pine box covered with our beloved flag draped on top of it. It becomes almost satirical when you really think about it. The majority of people in this country do not realize that these men and women readily risk their lives, go through grueling drills, and get shipped overseas to possibly never come home, all to protect faceless citizens. Taking this into consideration, when my husband was overseas, he was in a combat zone, so he did receive: Hazardous Duty Pay; A small bonus that gets tacked onto his monthly pay, that goes directly onto a debit card that he and I both had a card for. But when your husband is overseas, and you never know if he will be coming home to you in one piece or as a pink slip delivered by a suit, the pay and lack of recognition becomes an even more infuriating notion.

To this day, what still disgusts me the most whenever I think about the rice and beans these brave men and women make, is the fact that no one is even fighting for them. They risk their lives for us, and no one can even stick their neck out for the soldiers every once in a while. It has become a one-way street, and no one mentions it. As though it is the dirt to be swept under the rug. These men and women deserve respect, a reasonable pay, and the ability to provide for their families at home. They deserve what ancient civilizations had correct in the past, a hero’s welcome and gratitude. Our people and this great country would be much different if brave men and women in the military did not step up and protect what our ancestors have fought so hard to create and preserve.

Samantha Horvath is an OpsLens Contributor and the spouse of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran

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