It's that time of year again: tax season! But since we had a deployment last year, this time taxes were almost funny. Any income earned while on an overseas deployment is tax-free. As in, it's not even recorded on your W-2. So according to the official record, we supported our family of 4 on a whopping $13,000 this year! Pretty impressive, right? Obviously, since we are not living in a cardboard box, there was much more income available than that. But it is funny/frustrating to think how little my husband earns for the demanding job that he has. Sure, the military does give us some great perks. You can't beat the job security and the guaranteed housing right now. And the health care has been good for us so far, though no one in my family has had any severe health issues. And as the kids get older, on-base education will be very important to us. So I don't want to complain about the pretty comfortable lifestyle we enjoy right now.
But... at the same time, it occurs to me that these guys are seriously underpaid for what they put their bodies (and their families) through each year. And every time I hear the President or Congress discussing cutting back on military spending, I am astounded. Yes, wars are really expensive. But at a time when the government is funding a lot of other ridiculous programs and projects, how can anyone object to the limited benefits active duty military and veterans receive?