Money, money, money!
-For all military: Pay raises of 1.4%. – This is likely the most controversial item as this is the lowest raise in the history of our all volunteer military (1973). Some suspect it is merely a reflection of our economic times/situation, others have a more sinister take on it (something along the lines of Obama being anti-military, not appreciating what they are doing, undervaluing the American soldier, etc). What do you think? Is this too low? Is it appropriate given our overall economic status? And FYI- the previous lowest raise was 2% in 1988.
-For all military, housing allowances (BAH): An average 4.2% increase overall.
-For military family support: $8.8 billion in funding (a 3% increase). This money is allocated to counseling and support of both active-duty and reserve-component families.
-Defense Department medical program: $30.9 bilion (5.8% increase). “$669 million would be devoted to treatment for traumatic brain injury and other mental health issues, while $250 million would go to fund continued research on mental health issues among service members.” according to the Military Times article.
-Military child care service availability: $1.36 billion. This number is up $87 million over the 2010 budget. Funding will go towards maintaining the high level of care and youth activity programs.
-Counseling and assistance services: $1.9 billion to expand availability, up $37 million from the previous year.
-Spouse career and education programs: $84 million to programs, tuition assistance and internship programs. This is up $12 million fro 2010.
Obviously the overarching theme to these budgetary requests are upping the accessibility and quality of care available to military families. First Lady Obama is attributing this to the administration’s ongoing goal to care for the troops and their families. So here are the questions to you readers: Is this enough? Is funding the issue or is access? Will funding help access? What do you think about the lowest pay raise in recent history? How will this effect you and your family? What would you like to see different?