Military Benefits

Compen$ation: What Troops Care About

Anyone who has ever tried to calculate military income knows it’s made up of lots of moving parts – basic pay, housing, retirement, health care, assorted bonuses, etc. They’ve marched in lockstep for a long time, so defense-budget whiz Todd Harrison asked 2,600 troops: what do you care about when it comes to compensation? Such …

Echoes of a Long-Ago War…

With suicides on the rise in the ranks of the U.S. military even as the wars wind down, it’s clear that some of war’s fallout doesn’t settle on its victims until well after they’ve left the battlefield. That story earlier …

Dining in War Zones

When you’re far away from home, dodging bullets and humping a rucksack, meals loom as increasingly important reminders of home. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andrew Sand has checked out what’s for dinner for the troops in Afghanistan for …

Wars’ Lagging Costs

Here’s a bracing chart from a new report from the Congressional Research Service detailing the cost of veterans’ care:

In FY1940, the budget authority for veterans’ benefits and services was $561.1 million, and in FY2012 the budget authority was $125.3 billion, or more than 200 times the FY1940 budget authority. In constant 2011

“Going Postal”

Any soldier’ll tell you that mail from home – even in this day of cell phones and email – is a real morale-booster for troops on the front lines.

Army Major Peter Perzel pulled postal duty during his assignment in Iraq in 2008-09, before a second tour in Afghanistan in 2009-10. He shared some of what he learned in a …

Surprising Numbers…

Couple of stunning numbers involving veterans — 24 and 45, specifically — surfaced over the holiday weekend. Both are worth noting, and pondering:

– A new Gallup poll shows that veterans favor Mitt Romney over President Obama in November’s election by a striking 24-percentage-point margin. What’s more remarkable is that the two …

Wait-Watchers




Despite the fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs Budget has more than doubled – to about $120 billion – since 2004, it and the Pentagon are falling further behind in assessing whether or not veterans are due disability benefits. This chart, from a Government Accountability Office statement released Wednesday, tells the …

“Positive Activity Jackpot”

Every little thing helps in the Pentagon’s and VA’s war on PTSD, depression and suicide. The latest: the Positive Activity Jackpot app for your Android smartphone (apparently folks with iPhones don’t need such help). It immerses mentally-ailing troops or vets in “pleasant event scheduling” by marrying behavioral therapy to …

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