The Oct. 22 article “Army to Reserve troops: Pay up” leaves me with one big question: Why were reservists entitled to two housing allowances in the first place? Unless government quarters are unavailable at the place of duty, this makes no sense to me.
And even then, when a reservist is called to active duty for upward of four years (as were the two main subjects of this story), shouldn’t it be considered the equivalent of a PCS move that regular Army members endure every few years? As an active-duty soldier, I am not entitled to maintain two residences when it is time to PCS. When I deploy, I maintain my residence and housing allowance for my family, while I am provided housing at my duty location.
Clearly the Army’s claim that Kaiserslautern and Bamberg are in the same “vicinity” as Stuttgart, Germany, is absurd — as it would be extremely difficult to make this commute daily. Furthermore, placing the financial burden for this flawed policy on the servicemembers is downright unreasonable.
However, I can say that when I was a single E-6 in Stuttgart in 2008, my housing allowance was more than 1,400 euro per month (after converting that amount to U.S. dollars it is more than 140 percent my current CONUS housing allowance as a married O-2e). And continuing to pay reservists double housing allowances in this time of fiscal crises and furloughs would be just as unreasonable.
1st Lt. Geof Bennett
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Victims betrayed at Benghazi
I have served in the Navy for 44 years as a reserve officer. There was betrayal at Benghazi, Libya, regardless of the findings of the committees. The U.S. Consulate was under attack on Sept. 11, 2012, and those inside asked for help. Help was not given in the first hour, help was not sent in the seventh hour.
To those who try to serve this country, this is not a sideshow or a joke. This is betrayal!
Capt. Norman Ende (retired)
Mountain Lakes, N.J.