Rumor Doctor blog archive

Does the Air Force build ice cream parlors first, runways last?

While researching a recent column on Air Force living standards, The Rumor Doctor came across a longtime military myth used to explain why the Air Force has the nicest bases: They always build the runways last.

The reasoning goes that the Air Force spends the money it gets from Congress on amenities first, such as pools, ice cream parlors and golf courses. When that money is depleted, the Air Force goes back to Congress and says, "But we still need to build the runway!" And Congress relents, because you can't have an air base without a runway.

Did you just win a lot of money from Stars and Stripes?

Scammers appear to be targeting veterans and military families claiming they have won a sweepstakes from Stars and Stripes, but The Rumor Doctor is here to blow the lid off this sham.

At least two Stars and Stripes readers have received phone calls recently saying that they had won the Stars and Stripes sweepstakes and asking for money so they can collect their prize, but the newspaper is not running any kind of sweepstakes, said Marketing Director Meg Irish.

Did SEALs pound their tridents into Michael Monsoor's casket?

By any definition, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor is a hero. In 2006, he saved his fellow SEALs by throwing his body onto a grenade. Two years later, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which along with previous awards made him the most highly decorated servicemember for the current conflicts.

An email going around tells a touching story of how Monsoor's teammates paid tribute to him at his funeral by taking off their gold tridents and pounding them into the coffin as it passed.

Do airmen get a “substandard living allowance” when assigned to other services?

It is an axiom among servicemembers that the Air Force has the nicest digs. Indeed, when The Rumor Doctor visited Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake, it certainly appeared that the Air Force had nicer accommodations than the Army or Marines.

So The Rumor Doctor was not too surprised when a reader asked if airmen get a special allowance when they have to slum it with the other services.