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The July 26 letter “Address low civilian morale” was written exactly the way most, if not all, federal workers are feeling about this present administration, or is it now a regime?

Too many hard-working Americans are victims of Democratic “fuzzy math” being that we’ve received no pay raises since 2009 so, throwing in the yearly inflation factor, we are now making less than three years ago. Then throw in tax increases the present administration allowed to happen, thus shrinking the federal worker’s paycheck further because of tax increases. And now federal workers can throw in 11 weeks of 20 percent of our paychecks being “taken” from our current administration to help pay for such items as useless trips to Africa and limitless rounds of executive golfing.

And only God knows what this administration is planning against federal workers in the future. News stories have mentioned more possible furlough days and employee reductions. For what?

Equally good mention by the letter writer was the totally useless five-year rule in effect here in South Korea. While some of the federal workers are receiving taxpayer-dollar benefits to work in South Korea, there are some people who are retired military (local hire) and want to continue serving our government here. We choose to live here, but U.S. Forces Korea even boots out retired military after five years. Some of us military retiree people (local hires) are costing the government zero dollars for us to keep our jobs, but we receive the USFK boot equally with the people receiving the taxpayer-dollar dividend bonuses (such as paid-for housing and utilities, free education for their kids, free return-trip airline tickets to the States, free household goods shipment and free leave days, among other benefits) that local hires do not receive. Military retirees (local hires) choose to live in South Korea, adding no cost to the government. Please exempt us from the five-year rule and allow us to remain here where we want to live. Letting this happen will save dollars the federal government doesn’t have and, at the same time, allow our accumulated experience to benefit the government.

Daniel Mahaloi

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea

Are academies still needed?

I read in the Aug. 2 edition about how defense budget cuts will be painful (“Pentagon’s sequestration review paints a dire picture,” article, front page). Then I flipped to the last page and read about a West Pointer who was released from the Army after serving only two years so he could play in the NFL (“McNary’s mission”).

I was reading that it costs approximately $500,000 to put a kid through one of the academies. Would any other company pay this much money for any junior executive? Don’t forget that while Josh McNary was working (for the two years), he was getting paid. I would submit this football player should be made to reimburse the taxpayer for all his education costs.

I having served in the military for 30 years, and I submit that the service academies should be looked at for consolidation or closure outright. Two years’ work for $500,000 in investment is a disservice to the taxpayer.

I recall working with a lieutenant colonel who worked midnights as a doorman to put himself through college. That work, in my view, taught him more about life than any academy ever could.

Tech. Sgt. Dan Mahony

New York

Factor in private-sector perks

Regarding the July 22 article on senior officer housing (“Report questions cost of housing for top brass”): I hope those crooks in Congress are not complaining. These senior officers deserve better. Their counterparts in the private sector make millions of dollars in salary plus stock options. These guys have worked 80-hour weeks for decades and now someone complains about housing?

We are lucky to have some of the best and brightest in the military who work for peanuts. Let’s have an article on lawmakers’ perks and their million-dollar houses.

Jim Taylor

Heidelberg, Germany


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