is the Problem?
I am a single person in the US ARMY. If you want to see a job where
single people are discriminated against you should really check out the army.
If you are married you get money for separate rations about $220.00
a month, but if you are single you don't. You are given a meal card and if you are single
and would rather buy food and cook for yourself, then it comes out of your pocket. If it
was money to feed married soldiers families it might be different but the army tells
married soldiers that separate rations isn't for their families that the money is for the
married soldier himself. They figure out how much they get by adding up how much it would
cost for one person to eat at the chow hall all month. As a single soldier I would
like the right to be able to choose whether or not I want to eat in the chow hall or go
shopping and cook for myself!!!!
Another thing I have a problem is the housing situation. If you are
married then you can either get on post housing or if none is available then you can move
off post and you are given a housing allowance. As a single soldier we live in the
barracks, and these barracks are really crappy. They have 2 people living in one small
room, and we have community showers. If a single person wants to move out he has to get it
approved by his chain of command. He cannot get on post housing so he must live off post,
and he does
not qualify for a housing allowance or separate rations because he is single.
Every year they give us a break down of how much we
"really" make if we had to pay for the benefits that we get. They say that by
living in the barracks we save $300.00 a month. That is a joke because I have a roommate
and I know for a fact that if we took our $600.00 we could find a really nice bachelor pad
to share. I bet I could find a lot nicer place with the $300.00 a month in housing
allowance they say they are saving us. I would like the opportunity to live in a nice
apartment or house like the married soldiers have.
Thank you for you time.
PS I would like to hear your position on this and what you
plan on doing about it. If I agree with your position and believe you truly have a plan
that will actually accomplish something I will join your organization and try and get as
many other single soldiers as I can to join as well. I look forward to hearing from you.
Letter received by Unmarried America on October 27, 2000
What is the Solution
This type of discriminatory treatment is WRONG!
What could Unmarried America do to help single members of the
First, we would need to verify the facts to make sure that we are on solid ground when we
take action. Letters from other soldiers, regulation books, or anything else that has been
written about this would be helpful.
One of our current members has already started to expose this problem by writing an essay
for us which we have published on our website. But we need a team of single soldiers --
working together -- to take on the brass and to get some relief.
Then, when the facts have been fully verified, we can help our military
members to publicize this injustice. Op-ed articles in newspapers near
military bases would be one avenue. Letters to members of Congress (by
us, by our military members, by our nonmilitary members who would show
support, and by our civilian friends) would be another action.
We can devote an entire section of our website to THE SINGLE SOLDIER, with a military
member or members keeping it up to date.
We could ask people who visit our website to take a short survey about their feelings on
marital status discrimination. One of the questions could involve the unfair treatment of
single military personnel.
The issue could also be raised on the air with radio talk shows in areas close to military
bases. Some of these talk show hosts are always looking for new material.
As you can see, there are many possibilities. We have the numbers -- 86 million
unmarried civilians and military members -- but nothing will change unless we speak with a
collective voice. Let Unmarried America be that voice.
Be all that you can be -- join
Unmarried America -- and get your
comrades to do so too. Just make a tax deductible donation of $10 or more and become
Thomas F. Coleman