Soldiers didn't get summers off

How can teachers complain about benefits offered military veterans?

It is apparent by reading comments about Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to give veterans a tax break that many people have no idea of the quality of life veterans and their family endure while serving their country. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I can speak honestly.

First was the recent letter from a teacher and her complaint that she isn't able to shop at a commissary as veterans can ("Vets get benefits already," Feb. 20). The commissary is usually utilized by personnel stationed on the base or on temporary duty. The price savings are not that great. If she would be current on the military budget crisis, she would see that many commissaries and base exchanges have been closed. Prices in Walmart and other chain stores are about the same. Did she ever go in harm's way as a teacher, other then perhaps dealing with an angry student? Did she ever get a 10-day notice that she was moving overseas for an unspecified period of time? Did she ever get told that she would be going alone and her family would be staying stateside?

How many military personnel get paid for a year's work and only have to actually be at work for nine months and get the summer off, as she did her whole career? Military do not get paid overtime or time-and-a-half or sick days. Has she ever even been to a commissary to compare prices with the outside world? Please think about this the next time you see a disabled veteran missing a limb that he or she lost fighting for the teacher and others who stay at home and get overtime and had the opportunity to stay at one place to work for 20 or more years and buy a home and see their kids have the same friends and not have to move every few years.

How many homeless teachers do you read about? How many teachers suffer from post traumatic stress disorder? It is embarrassing to be an American and hear how someone can compare a military veteran to a garbage collector, a teacher or any other career that has never really been in harm's way. It is embarrassing to read letters from people who could have joined the military but chose not to because they did not want to have to sacrifice their quality of life or just didn't have the guts to know they may have to enter combat. There is absolutely no comparison and lucky for veterans in Maryland they have a governor who will honor their sacrifices with a tax break!

Jim Hironimus

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