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620,000 Military Families Rely on Food Pantries to Meet Basic Needs


Society & Culture  (tags: military, politics, news, poverty amongst the troos, charity, food banks, providing for our military, Food policy, government, ethics, crime, americans )

Cal
- 117 days ago - thenation.com
a new report found that the nation's food pantries serve 620,000 families with a member in the military--another troubling indication that service members battling against poverty must often rely on the generosity of our charities.



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Comments

Sue H. (7)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 8:23 am
:(
 

Allan Yorkowitz (448)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 8:30 am
What a disgrace.
 

Connie O. (44)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 8:33 am
Very sad that the people protecting us have to resort to food banks, etc, for their basic needs....while we send food, supplies, and money for housing to other nations.
 

Natally Klaric (63)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 9:58 am
That is very sad..:(
 

pam w. (191)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 10:13 am
This is the reason my daughter left the Marines.
 

Gene Jacobson (255)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 10:19 am
"The stunning figure, which represents roughly a quarter of the households of military members on active duty, the Reserves or National Guard, shows that even as the United States purports to wind down its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and soldiers return to civilian life, they are resettling into a hostile economic climate, on a precarious landscape of joblessness and debt."

This has NEVER been untrue. Not even back in the late 60's when I served. Military pay has always been far behind the skills taught and used. But back then, there was a draft as well as a standing permanent army, navy, air force and marine contingents. The National Guard was used by our rich (Cheney, et al) to hide their children from war. 6 months active duty, then 6 years of once a month training, two weeks in the summer. Most never saw more active duty than that.

When that draft ended, military numbers were cut and because politicians didn't want to be seen as condoning have a large standing military service they began using the National Guard for purposes for which it had never been intended - which was back up in the case of all out war. These are citizen soldiers, trained but not on a daily basis as active duty soldiers are. They live regular lives in our communities, hold regular jobs and are productive members of society. The standing services have become filled with the poor, those who cannot afford education and have a high percentage of racial minorities in them because they can't find jobs or education elsewhere. It once was that if you were called up, you were guaranteed your job back, your civilian job, I understand that is no longer the case - I don't know when that changed nor why but doing so was wrong.

Because we didn't want to pay to maintain a sufficient professional standing military, beginning with the first Gulf war, Presidents have been using the National Guard in lieu of full time military, called up on temporary mobile assignments, usually supposed to be for one year but extendable at the whim of the politicians. Those families were ripped apart, a strong solid income torn out of the household and replaced by the relative pittance the military pays. Of course that would put those families on food stamps and more. If they were fortunate enough to be near a military base they could get health care and commissary privileges (food and clothing), but if they were not, they lost careers, homes and lives. This "fake out" of the American people has continued to this very day - the National Guard, brave men and women, true citizen soldiers are still used as primary combat troops instead of or supporting, what is our full time active duty military. They cannot recruit enough permanent military members, nor retain them past their first enlistment, and they don't want a draft because that would be unpopular and hurt them at the polls. So they continually call up the Guard abusing them and their families horribly in the process. And when they come home with PTSD, depression, severe physical and psychic wounds, they leave them to the VA with its incredibly poor history of long lines and insufficient resources. Oh, and while they were gone, their patriotic employers filled their jobs with people unwilling to put their lives on the line for our country and so they come home to no parades, with horrific wounds of the body and soul, no job, sometimes no family, broke and broken. That is how this "story" came to be. It is a shameful part of America and not nearly enough light is ever shed on it. Thanks, Cal, for pointing this story out. It needs be told over and over until our political leaders are shamed into fixing it.
 

Gene Jacobson (255)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 10:20 am
"The stunning figure, which represents roughly a quarter of the households of military members on active duty, the Reserves or National Guard, shows that even as the United States purports to wind down its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and soldiers return to civilian life, they are resettling into a hostile economic climate, on a precarious landscape of joblessness and debt."

This has NEVER been untrue. Not even back in the late 60's when I served. Military pay has always been far behind the skills taught and used. But back then, there was a draft as well as a standing permanent army, navy, air force and marine contingents. The National Guard was used by our rich (Cheney, et al) to hide their children from war. 6 months active duty, then 6 years of once a month training, two weeks in the summer. Most never saw more active duty than that.

When that draft ended, military numbers were cut and because politicians didn't want to be seen as condoning have a large standing military service they began using the National Guard for purposes for which it had never been intended - which was back up in the case of all out war. These are citizen soldiers, trained but not on a daily basis as active duty soldiers are. They live regular lives in our communities, hold regular jobs and are productive members of society. The standing services have become filled with the poor, those who cannot afford education and have a high percentage of racial minorities in them because they can't find jobs or education elsewhere. It once was that if you were called up, you were guaranteed your job back, your civilian job, I understand that is no longer the case - I don't know when that changed nor why but doing so was wrong.

Because we didn't want to pay to maintain a sufficient professional standing military, beginning with the first Gulf war, Presidents have been using the National Guard in lieu of full time military, called up on temporary mobile assignments, usually supposed to be for one year but extendable at the whim of the politicians. Those families were ripped apart, a strong solid income torn out of the household and replaced by the relative pittance the military pays. Of course that would put those families on food stamps and more. If they were fortunate enough to be near a military base they could get health care and commissary privileges (food and clothing), but if they were not, they lost careers, homes and lives. This "fake out" of the American people has continued to this very day - the National Guard, brave men and women, true citizen soldiers are still used as primary combat troops instead of or supporting, what is our full time active duty military. They cannot recruit enough permanent military members, nor retain them past their first enlistment, and they don't want a draft because that would be unpopular and hurt them at the polls. So they continually call up the Guard abusing them and their families horribly in the process. And when they come home with PTSD, depression, severe physical and psychic wounds, they leave them to the VA with its incredibly poor history of long lines and insufficient resources. Oh, and while they were gone, their patriotic employers filled their jobs with people unwilling to put their lives on the line for our country and so they come home to no parades, with horrific wounds of the body and soul, no job, sometimes no family, broke and broken. That is how this "story" came to be. It is a shameful part of America and not nearly enough light is ever shed on it. Thanks, Cal, for pointing this story out. It needs be told over and over until our political leaders are shamed into fixing it.
 

Angelika Kempter (90)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 10:46 am
Thanks
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 12:29 pm
Sad that it happens, but I'm grateful for the work that is performed by the food banks.
 

Brian M. (202)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 2:31 pm
Americans value their military like they value their teachers...NOT.
 

Walter F. (77)
Saturday August 23, 2014, 9:13 pm
Shame.
 

Alfred Donovan (46)
Sunday August 24, 2014, 1:19 am
What ever happened to the old adage that charity begins at home ?.This is a disgraceful state of affairs.Money can always be found by our politicians to wage war but they don't want the responsibility of looking after their soldiers when they return home traumatized by their experiences.Gene it's the same in the UK where the government are making large scale cuts in the armed forces while at the same time aggressively carrying out recruitment of young people into the Territorial Army who are in reality weekend soldiers who have families and hold down jobs.During the Afghan war many of these Territorials found themselves on the front line with no previous battle experience or proper training.Some of these soldiers returned home with severe injuries and mental health problems but were denied Social Security benefits because they were told they were not ill or injured enough to qualify.Shame on the government.
 

Freya H. (313)
Sunday August 24, 2014, 7:12 am
What kind of a country pays its military personnel such low wages that they have to rely on charity and the public dole to eat? We are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the planet - yet the men and women who put their rear ends on the line for our national interests are grossly underpaid. I defy anybody to justify this.
 
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