The writer of the Jan. 7 letter “Pension plans” should have done some research before deciding that I do not deserve my military pension because I started receiving it prior to age 62. Nor is it specifically compensation for “serving in a war zone” as he also believes.
On an hourly basis, during my 21-year career I probably worked the equivalent of 35-plus civilian years. The pay was considerably less than a civilian counterpart would make while working his mere eight-hour day. My working days (and nights) were frequently very long, and weekends and holidays were for the most part just another day of duty. In addition, there were the hardships of constant transfers, family separation and even combat zone duty.
All the preceding is why active-duty military retirement (and “generous” it is not) is based on 20 (or more) years and but one of many reasons we “lifers” stayed in. Another is pride.
Stanley W. Sokolove
U.S. Navy (Retired), Raleigh