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Freeze military pay? No problemee"extend it to all

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COMMENTARY

By The Staff

By JACEY ECKHART

CinCHouse.com

Get ready for a load of sarcasm here. Because as a military family member I was just so excited to hear that presidential committee offered to freeze military pay and benefits for three whole years. Woo boy. I thought they would never ask! A freeze is exactly what I’ve been hoping for! In fact, I’m thinking the government can do their three year freeze and I can do my three year freeze. Because, really, I need a break from all this war stuff.

Here is my idea: I’m perfectly willing to have my sailor do without any raises for three years. In return, he won’t do any more work than he is doing right now. That is the brilliance of my plan: Nobody in the military will do more work. Not that they won’t do any work. They just won’t do any extra. No one will deploy for the next three years. No one will go out rescuing people in foreign countries from earthquakes and epic flooding. No families will relocate. No one will be asked to work more hours even the number of people in the service is reduced. For the next three years, we can all play a giant game of freeze tag with the military. Imagine the savings!

I’m thinking it could even get better. When inflation increases and the military dollar buys less and less, we can maximize savings by asking all of our military members to do even less. A lot of our military members have deployed four, five, nine times already. Many have been injured. They are suffering signs of combat stress, strain on their marriages. Our military members won’t mind the enforced rest a bit.

(Well, actually, they will. The truth is that they will mind a lot. Especially my guy. He is completely unreasonable in all he is willing to do for all of you. And it would be so ugly for our country to take advantage of men and women like him, willing to do so much without, you know, compensating them and everything.)

Now I realize my little plan has problems. It requires the United States to be a leetle more isolationist than we have been since before World War I. We will probably be OK. We have lots of resources. Granted, there are a lot of other countries out there that are terribly vulnerable. They will probably suffer. If I remember right, instability in the world economy tends to give rise to bullies and despots. But someone else can fight them. Someone else can offer a deterrent. Someone else can take the lead for a change while we tighten our belts and cut all of our “must pays” like the amount and number of salaries, retirement pays, Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid.

Yeah.

Brilliant.

That’s gonna make the government feel so much better even while it does almost nothing to reduce the deficit.

Or we could get creative. We could get American. We could require that our presidential committee members and bean counters and budget workers start working like the average 20-year old military infantry guy. These committee types should PT in the morning and run ‘til they puke. They should carry the weight of the deficit in their backs uphill. They should be taught to become explosive, resourceful, resilient, resolute. They should work with the tools they have until the economy is fixed, not glean and nitpick and cut where it does the most harm and the least good.

We do have a problem with the deficit in this country. We are living in unstable times. And freeze tag is a game for children, not the most powerful nation in the world.

Jacey Eckhart is a military life consultant in Washington, DC. She is the author of “The Homefront Club” and the voice behind the award-winning CD “These Boots.” Facebook Jacey or contact her at jacey@jaceyeckhart.com.