Cindy Williams and Military Pay
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Actress Cindy Williams is Against Military Pay Raises-Fiction!

 

 

 

  Summary of eRumor
Cindy Williams, of the Laverne and Shirley show, has allegedly written an article for the Washington Times in which she lays out a highly technical criticism of planned pay raises for members of the military.  The eRumor includes a response written by a member of the Air Force.
 

The Truth
This is a case of mistaken identity about the author of a Washington Post article.  
The Cindy Williams who wrote the article is not the actress.  She is another Cindy Williams who, according to the description with the article, was a senior research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former  assistant director for national security in the Congressional Budget Office.  Williams worked with the Clinton Administration during 1994 to 1997.   In 2010 this eRumor returned with claims that Williams was assistant director in the Congressional Budget Office.   The office was filled by David E. Mosher at the time of circulation.

Her opinions about the military pay raises were published in the Washington Post (not the Washington Times) on January 12 of 2000.  The article dealt with to what extent there was a gap in the wages of military personnel compared with civilians.  

updated 1/12/11

A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

Ms. Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column of 12 Jan, "Our GIs earn enough" and I am a bit confused.

Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest leave and earnings statement (LES), see that I make $1,117.80, before taxes. After taxes, I take home $ 874.20. When I run that through Windows' Calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center (AFNCC), where I am part of the team responsible for the administration of a 25,000-host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment.

A quick check under jobs for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year, nor does it pay less than this. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum. I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Also, you tout increases to Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (housing and food allowances, respectively) as being a further boon to an already overcompensated force. Again, I'm curious as to where this money has gone, as BAH and BAS were both slashed 15% in the Hill AFB area effective in January 00.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you have NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off AFDC, WIC, and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for Saudi. I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience".

As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the vast piles of cash the DOD has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday. Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a DFP (Defensive Fire Position, the modern-day foxhole), shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything.

Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your op-ed piece. But, tomorrow from Sarajevo, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies. And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?

Rubbish!

A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC

IF YOU AGREE, PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE AND SHOW OUR SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN WOMEN. THANK YOU. THIS LETTER SHOULD BE APPLAUDED BY ANYONE WHO'S EVER SERVED OR HAD A FAMILY MEMBER SERVE IN THE ARMED FORCES! THIS YOUNG MAN DESERVES A MEDAL!!!

 


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