Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Post: Combat Pay

Combat Pay then and now.

While I don't think any of us subjected ourselves to the Vietnam war for money, the $65 or so when compared to a PFC's pay, of what around $100 a month, was a increase of + 60%.  Still a little over $2.00 a day for taking any risk over slipping in the shower, which I did, seems a little ridiculous.  Dang, we were having so much fun, we should have paid them.

Maybe that's what our government has in mind now with the recent changes in the Combat Pay for Marines in Afghanistan.  $225 is too much for just a few days in combat so let's divide it by the day. $7.50 per day.
Yep, that ought to send a strong message to our military and our enemies as to just how much we value our troops. $2700 a year, if you spend a full year in combat, is just too much.

A Married Marine in combat receives less in combat pay than a married deadbeat in food stamps.  Apples and oranges probably but our veterans today must be chumps.  They can get out and  go to Massachusetts or Rhode Island and draw up to $2700+ a month in unemployment.  If they would have done it 24 months ago, they would still be drawing the dole after the latest extension. What the heck 3 X 12 X $2700 -- the old math says that is over $97,000 in paid vacation.

When I came back from Vietnam and got out of the service over a year later, I had a wife and a two week old son.  He says he is a Marine because he was born into it at Camp Pendleton.   I tell him that he was born in a Navy Hospital and that's as close as he will ever get to being a Marine. A wannabe swabby.  He's too old to join up now but I find a little pride in the fact that we are both chumps.  Neither of us have drawn unemployment even as difficult as it was for me back in the 70's and for him in the 90's.   Now comes the really big BUT and AND. 

That was my choice BUT our government, during the Vietnam war, did not support our military in anything close to what was deserved and in my opinion earned, many times over, AND it is happening again today.  Shame on our government and shame on us for allowing it.

Milton McNeely
B/1/26 Mar67-Nov68, Vietnam
USMC 66-70


  1. Many thanks to all who served!
    I flunked the physical in 1965, and never served, but that doeean't mean I'm not grateful for those who went, who were wounded or killed.
    I have six buddies dead from Vietnam.

  2. PFC pay at that time was 102.50 per mo. with two years service. When I got out in 1964 with a six week old son born at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Was a Cpl. over four making a whopping 180 mo, 105 mo in housing and 33.10 commuted rations.
    Served from 1958 to 1964 only combat was a few fist fights after too many beers at the sloop chute. Wouldn't sign the papers for my son to join, good thing would probably still be in the brig. Jack