Letter: Largesse at expense of military despicable

One of the more frustrating ironies while serving on active duty is that you cannot speak out politically, which essentially means you put complete trust in the civilian leaders who make policy, declare war and determine benefits.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced reductions in equipment, personnel and individual compensation for the military. Even to those who have apologized for the ineptitude of this administration, this should serve as a major alert to their priorities.

President Barack Obama declared entitlement reform untouchable this year, yet is willing to slash the benefits of those who protect our very sovereignty.

He wants to make a big campaign issue of income equality — presumably to ignite the base — while taking from the precise few who would die for our right to have this debate. More people than ever are receiving government benefits and draining the treasury, while this administration seeks savings from the very people who chose to enlist and serve our nation.

Obama wants to raise the minimum wage for the entire country. But if you count the long hours, our youngest and most vulnerable in the military make less than minimum wage.

As spring approaches, rest assured the president will be playing golf, often on military bases. There won’t be any young enlisted out there on the course. As politicians fly around the country making campaign speeches, airmen are manning and maintaining the jets and facilities that protect our coastline and airspace 24/7/365.

We cannot allow the same people who sink trillions into the disastrous health care debacle, who refuse to discuss the burgeoning entitlement expansion, who enjoy their automatic pay raises and luxurious benefits to take more from those who carry our torch into battle. Unacceptable and despicable.

Oscar Evans

retired fighter pilot

White Castle