The Bigger Picture of Military Budget Cuts

Since I am a military spouse, all I’ve been hearing about lately is Panetta recommending troop pay cut right before leaving office as Defense Secretary. When I first heard this, I immediately started fuming. What in the world is he thinking?! Isn’t he supposed to be fighting for our military and their families?!

He recommended that troops salaries be limited to  a 1% increase starting in 2014. Sure he was just talking about pay increases, but those pay increases are essential for military families that struggle to pay the bills as it is.

A service member will receive BAH, BAS, “free” healthcare, along with whatever else that service member qualifies for. These “perks” are about to be taken away. If my husband were on active duty orders at the moment, that would mean over $1,000 pay cut. Could your family afford a thousand dollar pay cut?

Most military families live off post which means they don’t live in “free” government housing on post. Renters know how much BAH is, and do you think they put their rent price within BAH means? No way! A lot of renters will charge double BAH which means families are struggling even more. And let’s not forget all of the military families on government assistance because they can’t feed their family. Our military should be the last ones on government assistance.

But, but, but…K, the military budget needs to be cut.

OK-OK. Yes, the military budget needs to be cut, but there are plenty of ridiculous things in the budget that shouldn’t even be there. Don’t start with our troops pay!

Suicide and divorce rates are at an all time high, and financial stress will just make matter worse.

Think about this for a moment. My husband can’t get into any schools because of budget cuts. If our soldiers can’t get the proper training they need, what will happen? There will be thousands of under-trained soldiers which will mean thousands of lives will be lost.

The fact is we are still at war.

Have you heard about the military drawbacks? Thousands of soldiers are basically being laid-off. Stop calling it a drawback and just call it like it is: lay-offs. This means thousands of soldiers are losing all of their benefits and basic pay. Thousands will be out of a job.

Will this help our economy? Not a chance.

Along with the military lay-offs, small businesses around military installations will be losing a tremendous amount of business.

The fact is we are still at war.

There are deployments everyday. There are thousands of troops in harms way. Military budget cuts will affect force readiness.

Our military fights every day for us. Now, it’s our turn to fight for them! Don’t turn your back on military families when we need your voice the most. Your voice can help save lives. Your voice can help save marriages. Your voice matters.

I strongly encourage you to call, email, or write a letter to your Congressmen. Your voice will make a difference.

What do you think of the military budget cuts? Do you think the pay of service members should be affected? 

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Miracles and God’s Goodness

Two days ago, we received a bill in the mail from Metlife. I dreaded opening it because we have been having problems with them charging us for one hundred people since May. I didn’t want to have to call them back again (I’ve been calling them monthly) to argue about our bill.

Yesterday, I finally opened it. The first words out of my mouth were, “God is good!” The amount owed on the bill was ZERO!

For two days in a row, those words have been spoken in our home; and, after my post about decisions and miracles, we’ve seen God work.

We have been looking at our bills and crunching number, and we know that there is no way humanly possible that our bills will be paid. But God will work a miracle! Because God is good all the time!

God is speaking softly…very softly!

Some people would think it was just the beginning of a normal drill weekend, but we didn’t.

Mister is working two civilian jobs, one first shift full-time and the second third-shift part-time. Then there’s the Guard.

All of this makes one very exhausted, stressed out husband.

Our bad day began first thing in the morning with knowing that drill weekends will end up costing us which spiraled into a conversation about our finances.

We are 100% sure God moved us out here for a reason. We just don’t know the reason.

We are 100% sure God wanted us to live in this house we can’t afford. We just don’t know why.

We are 100% sure God sent us to Bethel Baptist Church for a reason, and we love it there!

We just don’t know what God wants. I don’t know what God wants with my life or our life. We are clueless. We’re praying so hard, but we are just at a standstill. We kind of feel like the Israelites when they were in the wilderness after Egypt.

I hate my husband working so many jobs with only time for sleep and food. He’s wearing thin.

I would love for him to quit his third-shift part-time, but I’m not at peace with that.

Then I said it…a thought I have been carrying around for a few days…out loud.

I’m upset with God. He said He’d always provide, but we are behind on our rent. We paid as much as we could, but it wasn’t the full amount.

We could ask a number of people to help us out, but we feel like that’s taking the easy way and not really trusting God.

I’m upset that He said He’d provide but didn’t provide our full amount of rent. I’m upset because we don’t have any clue why He brought us out here. I’m upset my husband has to work so much to barely make ends meet.

Once my husband left, I got on Facebook to veg out. Two quotes were posted by different people that don’t even know each other, and God gave me two big Gibbs-smacks via Facebook.

“Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, ‘How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?’ There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.”
–Henri Nouwen

“Trusting God when it’s easy really isn’t trust. 
Trusting God when it’s hard really isn’t easy. 
But, that’s what trust is.” ~ Dr. Michael Easley

Don’t I feel stupid. I read my husband these quotes, and he felt stupid too for doubting God.

Right now, it’s hard. It’s hard not being able to pay our bills. It’s hard seeing my husband working so much and being utterly exhausted. It’s hard not knowing God’s plan.

We are much like the little engine that could except ours is…

Trust in Him. Trust in Him. Trust in Him.