I am writing this letter in regard to the editorial on ''Pay system needs change'' in the Tribune on July 11. First, I would like to say is this editorial is completely wrong. The "citizen soldiers" are only paid double pay during weekend duty (12 weekends a year). They get paid regular pay during annual training (two weeks a year).
I am a retired Master Sergeant with more than 25 years of service. I have also served overseas two times, in the service of this great country, and I am also an Iraqi Freedom veteran. This so-called incentive pay (double pay) was put in place several years ago to be an incentive for the Reserve and National Guard forces to keep them trained and ready in case of war. If this pay were removed, the current manpower of the armed forces reserve and guard would most likely dwindle, and the armed forces of America would be put in jeopardy.
This great county would be in great danger if the reserve and guard forces did not exist, or were greatly reduced. The reserve and guard forces have played a very important part throughout our history, from the American Revolution to the current war. The reserve and guard have been a significant part of the armed forces now currently serving overseas.
So basically in these times of bad economy, pay cuts, downsizing, etc., the reserve armed forces of America are a great bargain to keep our great country safe. As an example, a reserve or guard member only gets paid to train 38 days a year, (12 weekends or 24 days, 14 days annual tour) but is required to do the same amount of training as active duty service members, who get paid 365 days a year.