Priorities Out of Order: America’s Underpaid Military

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Soldiers salute the U.S. flag during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a welcome home ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort. Carson, Colo., Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012. Nearly 300 soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, returned home after a tour of duty that began in February. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Soldiers salute the U.S. flag during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a welcome home ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort. Carson, Colo., Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012. Nearly 300 soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, returned home after a tour of duty that began in February. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

AP

AP

Soldiers salute the U.S. flag during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a welcome home ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort. Carson, Colo., Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012. Nearly 300 soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, returned home after a tour of duty that began in February. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Michael Dangler, Staff Writer

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Imagine you are away from your family in a foreign country, risking your life to protect the lives of others. You protect America, its citizens, and the values America stands for, but you do not get paid nearly enough. According to Payscale Research, the average salary of an American military police sergeant is only $29,380, more than $15,000 less than the national average. With such a measly salary, a soldier cannot adequately support himself nor his family, especially when it comes to housing. The fact that the protectors of democracy earn so little is highlighted by the contrastingly exorbitant salaries of pro-athletes. According to The Huffington Post, on average, NBA players make $5.15 million, MLB players make $3.2 million, NHL players make $2.4 million, and NFL players make $1.9 million per year. Why is this a problem? This is a problem because our society puts so much value on who can protect a ball, rather than honoring those who protect us and our way of life.

The situation is even worse for veterans. After they leave the military, veterans are often forgotten. In a study conducted in 2014, communities across America identified 49,933 homeless veterans, which represents 8.6 percent of the total homeless population in America. Furthermore, veterans are often unable to pay for their medical expenses and the Veterans Association provides them with slow, inferior medical benefits. Both problems stem from the underpayment of soldiers.

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