Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Soldiers & "The Meltdown"

There's a story on that addresses how Soldiers getting ready to deploy from Ft. Riley, Kansas have been hit with a new worry: the economic crisis. This is just a particularly poignant example of how the meltdown has already impacted everyday folks. Even though these Soldiers and their families know that their paychecks will be paid, unlike some in the civilian sector; military members still worry what the crisis will do to their investments. Military retired pay, while nice, does not provide sufficient income for most families to completely retire when leaving the service. Many count on investments to "close the gap."

While military members serve in Iraq, their pay is not taxed, and they receive hazardous-duty pay; but Soldiers don't serve because it will make them rich. Military pay is better than it used to be, but it still isn't commensurate with civilian wages. So, it's a good thing there are leaders like the Command Sergeant Major quoted in the article. She's actively telling the Soldiers in her command to be smart, that the extra money won't last. As a leader, she recognizes that many of these young men and women have never balanced a checkbook, or view credit cards as plastic money; at least until the payments are due. She encourages financial planning and saving the extra pay. (Check out my blog-friend Jarhead's take on this.) Fortunately, Ft. Riley, like most other bases, has a program to help families learn how to manage their money. Good thing. With good leaders to set the example, and to mentor their troops, our deploying service members should be able to weather the financial crisis about as well as the rest of us. It's just a shame that they have to think about it at all.


david mcmahon said...

Thanks for the visit and the comment. What a valid issue you raise in this post.

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