Ft. Hood veterans react to possible military pay cuts - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Ft. Hood veterans react to possible military pay cuts

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In addition to immediate budget cuts, on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had some more long-term bad news.

Next year U.S. troops may be getting a smaller pay raise than they thought.

One defense official saying the Pentagon will recommend the military get a 1 percent pay increase as opposed to 1.7 percent.

FOX 7 went to Killeen and spoke with some veterans to get their thoughts on this very emotional issue for them.

Dr. Gary Honaker is a retired psychologist and a veteran who was stationed at Fort Hood in the 1950s.

"If you get a raise...1.7 percent...[and] round it down...why round it down? If you're gonna have troops to do a job, pay them," Honaker said.

Dr. Honaker says back then, troops were getting paid around $65 a month.

He says they've never gotten paid enough for what they do.

"Why not let the American soldier have enough money to take care of his family, feed his family, cloth his family? Send his kids to school, make sure he's got transportation to go to and from, make sure that he's well paid for what his job calls for," Honaker said.

We also spoke with a veteran named Charles whose last name is "Crow Flies High." He's continuing his Native American family's 150-year legacy of U.S. military service.

He says he knows how hard it is to raise a family on military pay.

"One percent is nothing. Because every time they give you a pay raise, everything else goes up anyway. You know, the inflation goes up on food, fuel and everything else," Crow Flies High said.

He also says the raise really should be 4 percent.

"I think the government needs to take a pay cut and give those men and women that put on a uniform such as myself...and deployed five times...I think they're the ones that need to understand, 'Okay, you have a six figure salary already. What about us,'" Crow Flies High asked.

"Just pay the people for what they're worth," Honaker said.

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