Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ft. Hood Soldiers Fight to Make Ends Meet

Jeremy Schwartz, a writer at the Austin  American-Statesman  is doing a series on returning veterans. In today's installment, he describes some of the difficult economic realities of military life:

Ft. Hood Soldiers Fight to Make Ends Meet
by Jeremy Schwartz, Austin American-Statesman, published February 26, 2012

KILLEEN — As the sun rises on a chilly winter morning, the line grows longer outside the Killeen Food Care Center next to the railroad tracks on the eastern edge of downtown. Sprinkled throughout the expanding crowd of more than 100 are what some might consider a surprising sight: uniformed soldiers from nearby Fort Hood, waiting to fill bags with about 10 days' worth of canned meats, cereal and fresh vegetables.

"I got the information from two other soldiers," said Sgt. Sandy Cornet, 28, who recently returned from Iraq and was waiting in the line with her husband and two of their five children. "It's a lot of them that come here, but they change their clothes because I guess it's embarrassing. A lot don't like to ask for help."

Over the past decade, an all-volunteer military force has shouldered the entire burden of frequent deployments into the war zone, spending months away from families and risking injury and death. But back at home, the harsh reality for a largely unseen population of soldiers and military families has been a spot in a food line, food stamps and a daily struggle to make ends meet.

Read the rest of the article here.

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