Letters to the Editor

Military vs. educators

In reference to Feb. 22’s My Turn (“Truth about military wives is shocking”): I was impressed by the tenacity of the military wife who felt it her duty to address the unknowing public of the plight of our military and the paltry amount of money they are paid, but when she made the comparison to teachers, I felt it my duty to respond.

The last thing I would ever do is disrespect the job or the honor of any person in the military. My father happens to be a retired Army veteran, and my uncle is a thrice-decorated, retired Air Force pilot. I pray for our military every day, as do millions of others in our United States. When the comparison was made to teachers and the fact that they “make more money, work less hours, and less months per year,” well, I beg your pardon.

Military folks make $3,000 a month? I’m lucky to bring home $2,000 a month! The last time I heard, the military was still voluntary, so hopefully they are aware of the wages and responsibilities of their chosen profession. The military veteran gets money for college in most cases; I’ll be paying my student loans back until I’m 60! I wasn’t even able to afford a house until I was 40. I don’t get a housing allowance, nor do I get to shop in a commissary. I doubt if the young lady that wrote has spent much time with a teacher, or she would know that there is no hourly rate. The average teacher works 50 to 60 hours a week, and that’s not counting work they take home. Teachers are required to continue their education on a yearly basis, much of it during the summer.

She stated that “teachers don’t risk their lives.” (I wish she wouldn’t have said that). There have been more killings in schools in the last 10 years than American casualties of war (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/schoolshootings990420.html) At least military personnel are expecting violence and have the resources to defend themselves.

I don’t want to sound like I’m anti-military –– quite the contrary. Our men and women of the military are the real heroes of our country. I’m also not trying to sound hostile, but let’s pick on someone else if we must. Everyone has an important place in our society. Some just happen to make more money than others. The garbage collectors in New York City make more money than teachers in Washington, but I don’t want to point any fingers. After all, we are all just working for food.

Jeff Ankeny

Federal Way

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