Military cuts are hurting families and soldiers as the Defense Department makes drastic changes to its size. The reduction in overall troop numbers means that cuts are being felt across multiple areas of the U.S. military, and families are suffering the most since some were already struggling. Everything from commissaries to housing benefits is being affected by the changes.
Military families know that the cuts are only going to get worse as the Pentagon works on reducing the size of the U.S. Army and other branches, according to CNN Money. The families have shared stories of how they are struggling to make ends meet and must find creative ways to pay their bills. It is an accepted fact that many military families are forced to rely on government programs such as food stamps because their salaries are not enough.
Elizabeth Toon is an Army wife who has learned how to control her small budget and seek help to survive. Although her husband works two jobs, this military family has been forced to apply for food stamps because shopping at cheap stores, cooking from scratch and coupons are not enough. Toon’s story is not unique, and many families rely on food stamps while they have spouses serving in the military.
Fears that the military cuts will continue to devastate families are founded on facts such as the Pentagon’s decision to cut housing allowances and cap pay raises. Lace Frazier is already feeling the cost of not having a housing allowance that covers her entire rent. She is not the only one who is trying to stretch her budget because of housing, and families often complain about the lack of affordable options.
Scrimping and saving is a normal part of life for many military families who face bills, frequent moves and uncertain deployments. As the Pentagon continues to make proposals such as cutting retiring benefits, families and soldiers are becoming more concerned about their future. What will happen to them once the cuts go through, and what will they do if they can no longer stretch their salaries to the extreme?
The Defense Department has stated the cuts to military numbers are necessary to comply with budget limits and the end of the Afghanistan war. However, military families are being hit from multiple sides as they watch each day bring a new announcement of some benefit being reduced or in danger of being eliminated completely.