National embarassment: food stamp usage in military sharply up

They stand guard upon Freedom’s rampart. They answer the call to secure the blessings of liberty for our Republic. Their families shed tears as they say the words that could be eternal: good-bye. They are the best amongst us and carry on the legacy of those who volunteered to stand at Concord Bridge.

But they are also apparently despised and disregarded by this Obama administration — which should be ashamed of this latest national embarrassment.

As reported by Becket Adams at The Blaze, “Roughly $104 million worth of food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries in 2013, according to the latest data from the Defense Commissary Agency. Military families used food stamps to purchase milk, cheese, meat and bread at the military grocers, CNN Money reported.”

“I’m amazed, but there’s a very real need,” said Thomas Greer, spokesman for Operation Homefront, a group dedicated to assisting soldiers in financial straits. Food stamp participation in the U.S. military saw a sharp increase in 2008, during the worldwide financial meltdown, and it has risen every year since.

Just to remind you, the Obama administration has considered closing Military Commissaries.


The most recent data shows only a moderate increase over the past few years, but it’s up nonetheless as the job market continues to be tough on spouses looking for work. In fact, 2012 unemployment among active-duty military spouses aged 18 to 24 years old was a whopping was a 30 percent, CNN Money noted, citing the Military Officers Association of America. Stupid me but I thought the Stimulus was getting people back to work. Perhaps active-duty military spouses are not part of the Obama crony capitalist calculation.

Forty-four million people in the United States were on food stamps in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent figures. And of those 44 million, only 5,000 were active-duty military members, meaning the U.S. military represented less than a tenth of 1 percent of the total number reported by the USDA. Pentagon officials believe the “bottom ranks” (i.e. 18 to 20-something-year-olds who commonly have children) benefit most from the program.

Bu just to put this in perspective, “Cover Oregon” spent some $200 million in American taxpayer money on a website that has yet to have a single person sign up. I don’t care what the percentages say, not one single American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, or Coast Guardsman should ever need government assistance — especially food stamps.

Last week, as we reported, the Democrats introduced a piece of legislation that would retroactively provide benefits to those discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

We know for whom the liberal progressives advocate, especially in our military.

This state of affairs is despicable and I implore you to call every Member of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, Secretary of Defense, and the White House to rectify this immediately!


  1. My new son in law is in boot camp. He is going to do his best to take care of his family and his country We should make sure he and his family do not need for anything.


    • Not just Democrats.
      It was like this under Reagan too.
      The point is that base pay is often not enough top support a family and it hasn’t been for decades.
      All administrations share that shame.

  3. It is indeed shameful that military members and their families should NEED foodstamps. However, I hope they feel no shame in using them. If ANYBODY deserves them, they do, and they’re certainly not going to get any help from this administration in any other way! Let them have at it. I’ll pay for their food stamps any day. Not so with the welfare queens and layabouts. Drug test them, and kick them off the rolls!

  4. The active duty service member with legal dependents receives in addition to base pay either BAS and housing or VHA. In otherwords, the base pay however humble is disposable income and an E-1 should be able to feed a family of 4. This points to poor financial management and not politics. We should go back to not allowing a service member to become married until serving 4 years and achieving E-4. In 21 years of service I never had a single Marine in financial trouble it was always the married Marine who spent well beyond his means…

      • Mr B., You sound like you’ve been in the Military and if you have then you know why Mr. C. has made this statement. It’s not a 9-5 position and the stress is immense without adding the worries of a family to it. And all were saying is that you shouldn’t be married until you have acclimated to the Military life style. Which generally takes the first enlistment.

      • Communistic??? Your told what to do, when to do it, what you can eat, when you can eat, how much you can eat, how much you’ll be paid, where to go, what job you’ll be doing, when you get liberty, sent to the brig for any infraction, restricted from food as well as liberty for these infractions. Hmm.. IT’S THE MILITARY NOT DAY CAMP!!!
        Yea I think it’s a little communistic, and I don’t know about now but in the 80’s you had to get permission from the CO if you wanted to marry.

  5. Normally I agree with you Mr. West, but on this point I don’t. The Military is not about money but duty, honor, and good training. I got in as a College Drop out in ’86 with the rank of E3. Single and young and making about $535.00/month. I was trained in all the schools I asked for, and for my cost my time was given of 5yrs. of standing watches, working on different ships and shooting at the enemy. I got out in ’91 as an E5 single and making around $1200/month. My choice to get out and use those skills learned to make more money which I did. But at no time in my enlistment would I have put the burden of marriage and family on the gov’t as a first enlistment. This was a time of growing and training and not worrying about a family as I went abroad with my Ship. Currently I read on the pay scales of my former rank with family and housing allowances and was shocked by how much I would have received today with a wife and child. E5 $2700/month with a $2700 in housing allowance. Also I recently dated a woman who is in the Army as an E8 and was shocked to learn her pay is $80,000+ /year. Now maybe Texas has a lower cost of living than the rest of the country but that seems to me like pretty good pay.

    • C’mon now buddy… lets not inflate the pay scale. E8 makes $56,646/year BEFORE taxes. Housing allowance is normally about $1,146.90 but depends on COL. Also the BAS is $357.55. All in all, BEFORE taxes E8 with over 18 years and with dependents will make $74,699.40/year. Yes, this is PLENTY to live on and is pretty damn good pay. But we aren’t talking about seasoned E-8’s here. We’re talking about E-1’s, 2’s and 3’s who make $37,289.40/year or less before taxes and have to feed a new mother and child, pay the rent, car payment, and all the bills.

      • Ok Mr. Bumbleguts, are you in dispersing??? That’s pretty good accounting buddy. 🙂 But my point was that first time enlistees shouldn’t come in with families, simply because their rank is not established to support one. Also they need to dedicate their time to growing and learning their rates, mos’s, whatever. A second enlistment E-5 4-6yrs of rank you can relax and have a family. If you and they can deal with extended deployment. I really hated seeing my buddies all tore up after a 6 month deployment to come home to a divorce. My 5 years involved 2 ships and 2 schools Electronics and EOD. And I could not have focused on that while having to worry about a family. Besides if the Navy would have wanted me to have a family they would have issued me one.. 🙂

    • And stop giving me thumbs down dammit!!! I was one of those poor sailors too!!! I just wasn’t dumb enough to try to support a family on lower enlisted pay.

  6. We could almost instantly raise these enlisted soldiers out of poverty by granting them tax free earnings on base base pay same as they would otherwise be in a Combat Zone. We only need to determine how far up the enlisted chain to go before rolling in the tax tables.

  7. Yes, while the fat hogs in Congress make certain that THEIR salaries are unaffected in any way. I hope they choke to death on their pork.

  8. Active duty members and Vets do not want a handout, they want their families taken care of if they should become unable to do so themselves (disabled, ill or killed). When you look at how obama was raised (mother left him, father left him, grandparents dumped him on a pedophile), it really is not surprising that obama doesn’t understand the sense of family commitment and of course, being raised by a bunch of Communists, he certainly never felt committed to our country or our military members. He’d just as well have our military members on food stamps like he does everyone else. I’m really sick of this Commie POS.

  9. If the $103.6million is in commissaries, how much more was spent somewhere else? There are many spouses and families that do not live on or near bases because their military member is overseas.

  10. This is a shameful problem for which all our leaders (left and right) are responsible.
    An across the board pay increase for all ranks would be nothing compared to the amount of money way throw away on other programs.

    I’ve seen good soldiers, who loved the Army, leave because they couldn’t afford to take care of their families.

    i also watched lesser qualified soldiers get promotions simply because they had families and needed the pay bump to help pay the bills and the chain of command was looking out.

    The DOD spends billions on defense contracts that go nowhere.
    If you really want to strengthen our military… increase the pay.
    That will solve a lot of retention problems and allow standards to be raised for new recruits.

  11. A news program recently reported that 72% of American families are now living from paycheck to paycheck, with very little or no savings to carry them over a rough spot. Our military, many of our elderly, the millions who were cut to 30 hours or less so their employers could skip buying Obamacare, America is hurting. November 2014 is coming, we can band together and dump many of those who have been part of the mean agenda towards us.

  12. The hypocrisy and dishonesty of this post is stunning. Which party is against food stamps? Yet you manage to make a cynical appeal using lyrical language to make it look like health care is somehow taking away food stamps. Not meaning to give Dems a great deal of credit but it is the GOP that is stamping out food stamps … and that includes for the military. Get your story straight … are you in favor of food stamps or against them? Are you saying you want Obama to push for more food stamps? No, this is simply propagandistic lying.

    • I’m pretty sure what he is saying is that our military shouldn’t have to be on food stamps. They should be better taken care of for defending our freedoms. Military spouses should be able to get jobs. Unfortunately people are hesitant to hire them because they might move in a few years.

    • John Carter conservatives are not against food stamps for the poor and vulnerable. If government spending was being handled correctly many Americans and military families wouldn’t fall into this group at all.

      • It’s too bad the conservative dingbats have been trying to strongarm all the sensible conservatives with *actual* christian values, like Carter conservatives, out the door.

  13. They needed the foodstamps before too. It’s just that tightfisted republican douchebags don’t understand that people have kids and budgets and need to eat. If the Dems get their minimum wage hike, soldiers will have to be paid more.

    • this is not the republicans fault. it’s both parties fault. if the government was handling the money correctly and if congress would quit giving themselves raises than no military family would have to be on food stamps.

  14. Don’t look now, but our lower grade enlisted personnel have qualified for, and relied on food stamps since the middle to late 70’s. It is a shame that our congress 1) cannot bring itself to pay these people, and 2) is now considering curtailing or completely doing away with the commissary system.

      • That a number of our uniformed services people are eligible for food stamps is indeed a shame. I cannot in good or bad conscience lay this one at President Obama’s feet alone. Barack Obama was born in August 1961, the year I graduated from High School. I strongly suspect a misplaced congressional frugality.

  15. Less than a hundred bucks a month for a Pvt E1 , if I remember correctly , in 1970 . It is not the Presidunce who is at fault for the situation , but he is at fault for not correcting it on his watch . And if his motivation is to see to it that queers are compensated for being abused , he needs to be pointed at the fact that the enlisted have never been paid their worth . And that follows right into the Veterans Administration , with the games it plays with disabled vets .
    Shouldn’t expect to be made a member of the 1% , but a soldier is skilled or semi skilled labor , at the least , and should be paid accordingly .

    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights . Carry !
    Soldiers on duty should be armed . Off duty , should be carrying concealed . And as a citizen of America , shouldn’t be required to go hat in hand to get permission to do so .


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