until I hear stories like Jill's. The letter below is the letter she is sending out to the media outlets in her area. She can tell her story the best:
Hello. My name is Jill XXXXXX and I am a military wife. My husband is in the Air Force and stationed at XXXX XXXX with a small Air Force unit, XXXX XXXX. We have been stationed here since June of 2005. My husband was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It took years to finally get a diagnosis. This was taken before the medical review board to determine whether or not he was fit to stay active duty. My husband wanted to stay in. All he needed was a medical treatment plan to manage his pain. The review board jerked us around for months saying they were going to discharge him, then they decided they wanted more testing done.
We were moved into on post housing in November of 2007. One week later, they told him they were discharging him on February 4, 2008. My daughter has been bounced around from school to school just this school year alone and now is a wreck that we will have to move again.
What I am writing to you about, however, is the lack of financial support that the military offers its personnel. The Air Force unit’s finance office is actually at McGuire AFB in NJ. They have ruined us by screwing up my husband’s pay… as well as other people’s pay from what I hear. There have been pay periods when my husband didn’t get paid at all. The past two pay periods, my husband has only receive half his pay. They currently owe us more than $1200. We can’t seem to fix this however because when we call the finance office on base, no one answers the phone. This has been going on for days. We have bills to pay and no way to pay them.
If that isn’t enough, I would like to point out how they treat the personnel that they are discharging. Military pay is low to begin with. We barely scrape by most months. They are only giving him 20% disability pay which adds up to only $200 a month. In addition, they offered him $63000 in severance pay. What they didn’t tell us until recently, that his disability pay will be confiscated and applied towards paying back the severance. So we won’t see any disability pay for a good 30 years.
Is this how you treat someone that has sacrificed their life and family for duty? At one time, being a military family was something to be proud of. There was support, benefits, etc. Now, being a military family is one of the most miserable things to be. There is no support anymore and no benefit at all. Health care is non-existent for the most part. Housing isn’t affordable. Pay is far too low live reasonably on. And when they force you out, they basically throw you to the wolves.
My husband will not be able to work much once he is discharged which leaves me to work full time, take care of the kids and everything almost entirely on my own and hope that I can make enough to pay the bills and put food on the table. He didn’t want to be discharged. They are forcing the issue and giving him absolutely nothing to work with after it happens.
I don’t know if this is a story you would be interested in or not and I know nothing is going to change what is happening but I just wanted to get the word out on how the military treats their members these days and how they are absolutely destroying this family.
I cannot believe that this is how our military treats its members. Oh wait, I can. There was a story in the Chicago Tribune over Christmas about a serviceman being told to get his butt back to Iraq even though his newborn son was in intensive care with catheters and tubes and everything hooked up to him, and the doctors told the serviceman to stay close. It got worked out after the media got involved, and he was given a limited extension to stay. I am hoping that the media picks up on this or somebody who can do something to help her gets a hold of this story.
Please head over to her blog and lend her some support while she tries to get the military to do what they are suppose to do and pay her husband. If you can help me get this story out, it would also be greatly appreciated!