Let me see if this is right: The cost-of-living allowance is going down by as much as $150 a month because the dollar has gained 3 cents on [the euro] ("Most Europe-based COLA to decrease," article, Jan. 21). Last time I took out a hundred euros it cost me about $167. That is a big difference in my book.

Add to that the fact that gas prices are up and generally continue to climb, and the trip to my local post exchange (Kaiserslautern Military Community Center) has just increased by about 20 miles.

When we moved here two years ago, because of what we were offered as on-post housing, we opted to live on the economy. Because of the euro price, we have seen our rent increase by almost $400 a month. I know that is all part of basic allowance for housing, but it still hits our wallet in the long run.

[An increase of] 3 cents on an already-crappy conversion rate is doing nothing but harming the families and soldiers. Consider the hit to enlisted troops with large families.

This is a very poor decision on the part of the those who guide these decisions. They need to look at more than a small increase in strength to the dollar and really see what it is like.

Theresa DeLaughterQueidersbach, Germany

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