[Sca-cooks] tipping the wait staff

Wanda Pease wandap at hevanet.com
Thu Nov 2 18:40:50 PST 2006

> While serving as a soldier at Fort Jackson, SC, I was forced to
> augment my
> monthly paycheck in order to cover the rent and child care bills.
>  That, in
> and of itself, is a sad commentary on what soldiers are paid.  There were
> several jobs, along the way, most of them waiting tables, mostly
> because the
> tip money was a ready source of cash for stuff like diapers and milk.

Somehow I thought that was a long time ago.  Look up the pay tables now.  Of
course if you were the only wage earner and had three kids as a E4 of lower
it would have been a problem.  The problem wouldn't have been that you were
poorly paid, but that you had decided to have children.  This was a decision
that the US military did not make or require of you.

As a Soldier and Family Assistance manager I hear this occasionally.  I have
a corporal now who is trying to get by on her pay with four children and a
non-working husband.  She knew what the pay was when she joined up.  She
gets more than her single compatriots in the way of benefits (she gets
family leased housing by giving up her Basic Housing Allowance) which means
that the house that is big enough for her regulation wise is paid for by the
Army along with it's utilities (in California).  Not surprisingly she is
having trouble making ends meet.

I grant you that 20 years ago I knew military families who were on food
stamps.  The cause was almost always that they had more children than the
wages could cover.  If you sense a lack of sympathy you are right.  My
husband and I managed to live well on only his salary in Alaska, Montana and
Germany.  Before anyone wails about it, yes even in those days 20 years ago
you had the choice of getting pregnant or not.  You pays your money and you
takes your chances.


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