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Combat-pay argument is weak

Published: March 23, 2011

Regarding Michael G. Cummings’ March 21 column “On 2nd deployment, I didn’t deserve combat pay”: I completely disagree. Who is this individual making these comments? Yes, he spent time in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley (and reminded us of his experience with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the same unit as Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta).

Just because he was in Afghanistan and roughed it for one tour does not make soldiers residing on Victory Base Complex, Iraq, any less deserving of combat pay. Additionally U.S. forces are currently serving in an advise-and-assist role to the Iraqis. However, never forget soldiers are still dying in Baghdad just like in Afghanistan. Do not forget it.

If Cummings does not believe he deserves combat pay for his time served at VBC as well, he should take the money he earned and make a sizable contribution to Army Emergency Relief or Combined Federal Campaign. And remember:

 Soldiers do not concern themselves with the federal budget.

 If you want to save the budget, cut some contractors whose salaries dwarf soldiers’ pay.

 $225 a month per soldier is not much in the scheme of the federal budget.

 Pilots flying over Afghanistan should earn combat pay; the close air support mission remains in effect, and aircraft are vulnerable.

 We are at war in the Middle East and Islam has many dedicated followers; this justifies combat pay for Kuwait, Qatar, et al.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kalonji Singleton

Mosul, Iraq

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