Civilians serve the country too
May I remind the author of the Jan. 29 letter “Alternative to denying R & R” that all members of the military and Department of Defense civilians willingly signed an agreement regarding their jobs? I rather resent being included with members of Congress (“the lavish benefits and lengthy vacations of Congress and civilian DOD members should have been trimmed before deployed soldiers were asked to spend nine months in a war zone with only a four-day pass as a respite”), as they were voted into office by the people of the United States of America.
I consider my job a privilege along with the benefits. I am not sure why we allow the government to receive so much more than the people doing the real work but, let’s not beat up too much on the DOD civilian contractors. I feel I am here to serve the military.
Forward Operating Base Phoenix, Afghanistan
Read up on closing accounts
In a couple of weeks I’ll be leaving Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to head back stateside. I wanted to encourage those of you who will one day PCS to pay close attention to your contracts. German utilities, communications (phone, cell phones and cable TV) and even the motorist-assistance club ADAC require adequate notice before you terminate your accounts. Check your contracts for specific requirements.
The telephone company has been an issue with three members of my section. One co-worker notified the telephone company by fax of the need to terminate his account and thought that it was resolved but a collection agency contacted him at his new CONUS location concerning an outstanding balance. In my case and that of another co-worker who left a couple of weeks ago, we requested our accounts to be closed (by fax) and provided copies of our orders to show that we were moving due to transfer orders. Our accounts will be closed on the dates requested but we were billed to pay half of the amount that would have been paid if the contract was completed. My co-worker had to pay 150 euros and I must pay 270 euros. These are moving expenses that were not planned. The base legal office advises that these are valid charges and must be paid.
Please plan ahead to ensure that you comply with your contract requirements so that you do not have additional expenses when you transfer.
Ramstein Air Base, Germany