CINDY WILLIAMS: was appointed by President Obama
as an Assistant Director for National Security in the
Congressional Budget Office.
Ms. Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times
denouncing the pay raises coming to service members this
year; citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more
than they deserve. This is an Airman's response to Cindy
Williams' editorial article in the Washington Times about
I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's 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 earnings statement, I see that I make $1,117.80, before taxes per
month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the
calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and
I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team
responsible for 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 in my job.
Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being
offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum........... I'm sure you can draw the
Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you 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 of 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 government
has been giving them.
Try to deploy over a major holiday. Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial
favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a 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's (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 be nearly
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 open 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
right 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 noses 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
A1C Michael Bragg,
Hill AFB AFNCC