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Hugh, can't wait to hear who is on the list of no shows. Reminds me of all the other "promises" that have been broken down through the years. When I was contemplating joining in the early 60's, the war in Viet Nam was just kicking off and I had a brother who had served since 1946. What I saw then was that the military took care of you and your family for life. We were promised lifetime access to military hospitals and clinics for us and our spouses as long as we lived. No need for medical insurance. The pay was way below civilian standards for the same kind of work, but we were promised adequate retired pay for the rest of our lives. Military bases were spread out all over America and we had lifetime access to the base exchanges and commissaries where the prices were a lot lower than stores in the local communities. Now 50 years later and too late to prepare financially for what has happened in between enlisting and retiring, we have no free medical care, threats to close stateside exchanges and commissaries as too expensive to keep open, and proposals to eliminate retired pay until age 65 even though most of us are retired from the military by age 48 or sooner. I think one of the biggest causes for this promise breaking is that nearly all of Congress has never served in the military. They can't relate to what we endured for 20 to 30 years. The benefits was what made most of us stay, even though the work and family disruptions were tough. With the changes that have already been made and those that are sure to come, I don't see much reason for anyone to consider the military as a career. Even the promise of getting a low cost college degree is not practical because of all the disruptions from the many war zone assignments. I suspect it is getting real tough for the recruiters these days.
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