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I just finished reading the June 13 article “Commander pushes to restore housing benefit,” and I really want to say a few things about this topic.

The U.S. government did a very shady thing by not continuing to pay the benefits promised to these people. But it is just a Band-Aid for the real issue that exists in overseas housing.

I live in Germany and I have a three-bedroom apartment. I do not get a housing allowance and I am doing fine. The problem that exists is that you have local nationals working in the housing office setting the rent for these houses so high that our government feels it’s obligated to pay. No German would ever pay what the Americans are paying in rent. The Germans have found a way to build huge houses and have them paid off in full by our government.

The article said annual housing allowances can be as high as $50,000 in some locales. Fifty thousand dollars is an astronomical amount to pay a year for housing. It’s not realistic and the fact that our government just trusts that the right decisions are being made in this department is naive. I pay around $900 a month, including my utilities (except electric), for a very nice apartment.

If our government wants to find ways to fix this housing problem, officials need to examine the housing that the Americans are renting and realize that no enlisted soldier could afford to rent a house like this in the States and should not be given this option overseas.

Volunteering to serve your country does not entitle you to live like a king! You should be volunteering because you love your country and want to serve and protect it.

My father served in Vietnam. We lived in Germany in the 1970s and ’80s and we were never given the option to live in a mansion. If the American people were informed as to what exactly their taxes are paying for, they would be appalled.

Julie Porter

Ramstein Air Base, Germany


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