Rather than brass bands and parades, troops returning from Iraq could be greeted with pay caps and cuts in benefits—or worse. As the federal budget deficit rises, pressure is being put on Washington to cut military spending, and troops could even lose their jobs if Congress decides it no longer needs as many soldiers on the payroll, Politics Daily reports. Insurance premiums could be raised, military exchanges and commissaries could be shut down, and other services could be eliminated.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who wants military services to slash $100 billion in overhead over the next five years, previously said he would attempt to protect jobs and benefits like college tuition, child care, and housing—but has more recently indicated that nothing is off the table when it comes to potential cuts. The Pentagon is currently fighting the pay increase of .5% Congress wants to give the military, a bump that would cost about $500 million a year. For more, click here.