Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Belated Memorial Day Post

One problem I have with days being designated to honor something is that all too often that is the only day that item or group is honored. So while I've written a number of times on military personnel and military families, I didn't on Monday.

Today, though, let's take a look at a few things.

For example, in some state military spouses who move as a trailing spouse can apply for unemployment compensation. The frequent required moves the military requires can be a serious career impediment for the military spouse. According to the National Conference of State Legislators Pennsylvania is one of the states that is listed as "No eligibility or not specified in statute." You can see their comparative chart at:

At the federal level, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently went on record as saying that perhaps we should cut military salaries. Yep, pay those folks less. He says that the military has not had a problem meeting recruitment targets so cutting pay wouldn't cause a problem. (See "Gates puts pay cuts on the table," by Terry Howell 5/26/2011).

On a more positive note, former Congressman Patrick Murphy, currently a candidate for attorney general, was on Philadelphia Fox News to talk about Memorial Day. Video available online.

If we're going to ask people to go be shot at the least we can do is pay them a reasonable wage. We also shouldn't tell military spouses that when they become single parents after their husband or wife is deployed they can't apply for unemployment to tide them over if they move to be closer to family or other support networks. I'm willing to pay higher taxes for this.

[Trivia: Gates, an Eagle Scout, was President Obama's surrogate at last summer's National Scout Jamboree and talked about the honor and sacrifice of military service.]

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