Mary Ann Gamegan-Richardson (letter April 10) suggests that the civilian minimum wage should be in line with the pay of enlisted military personnel. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I feel qualified to point some things out that she conveniently left out.
Military enlisted personnel pay no costs for housing. They get three square meals a day. They are entitled to free healthcare for themselves and their families. At E5, I was given a housing allowance to live off post but until then my personal costs were very minor, such as toiletries and laundry.
I did not own a car or pay auto insurance or upkeep. We were given hazardous duty pay, if in a combat theater. Stay in 20 years and you are eligible for a pension.
I am not a fan of the increase in the minimum wage because I am now retired and on a fixed income. The cost will be passed on to many who can least afford it, but it is only fair to have all the facts before us. The working poor would love to have all the benefits military personnel receive at no added cost. They pay for their own room and board.
Norm Chase, Fresno