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Gates Tells Troops In Iraq Paychecks May Not Come

Sweet Jesus. This is like watching a monkey fuck a football. You know, cause those guys in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have enough shit on their plates already.  Lets serve them up a cup of fighting a war for free.  Our leadership is fucking weak.

By Kevin Baron, Stars and Stripes

CAMP VICTORY, IraqDefense Secretary Robert Gates told troops deployed in Iraq that he knows what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck and so hopes the federal government will not shut down on Friday. But if the White House and Congress cannot make a deal, troops may not see a paycheck at the end of the month.

Before Gates arrived to meet with 200 soldiers from the U.S. Division-Central headquarters in Baghdad for a typical open question-and-answer session, several unit members said they planned to ask him about the shutdown affecting their pay. And it was the first question asked by one unidentified soldier: “How do you see the possible government shutdown affecting military pay?”

“Well, first of all, let me say you will be paid,” Gates said, drawing a big Army “Hooah!.”

“You know, as a historian, it always occurred to me that the smart thing for government was always to pay the guys with guns first.”

But then Gates turned serious, explaining that based on information he received Thursday morning, if the government shutdown begins on Apr. 8 and lasts for one week, troops would get half a paycheck. If it goes on from April 15-30, however, troops would not get a paycheck.

In that scenario, all troops eventually would be back-paid in full for their time.

“So … that’s the deal,” he said. “And frankly I remember when I was your age I did a lot of living paycheck-to-paycheck, and so I hope this thing doesn’t happen because I know it’ll be an inconvenience for a lot of – a lot of troops.”

Later, he told reporters: “When I start to think about the inconvenience that it’s going to cause these kids, and a lot of their families – even half a paycheck delayed can be a problem for them. So I hope they work this whole thing out.”

Gates has warned Congress for months that its delay in passing a Defense Department budget would negatively affect the entire military, from procuring intelligence hardware wanted for the Afghanistan War to paying troops on time.

Asked for his reaction to Congress’s handling of the issue, he smiled coyly and said, I’m not going to wade into that swamp.”

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About Capers Bar

I am retired Army officer. I used to fly helicopters and airplanes while I was in the Army. Nowadays, I do other things that are not so cool and sexy. I decided to write about my journey or whatever you want to call it towards running a half-marathon this fall. I have been running since 1983, I have run the Duke City full and half marathons. I don't run that fast anymore, I did win a 10K when I was 21, those days are mercifully past me. The fastest mile I have turned is a 5:05 during one of those Army physical fitness test 2 mile runs. The point I am making is that I am old, slow, and experienced runner. I named the blog after my running buddy, Bandit, an Australian Blue Heeler. He is my 3rd K-9 running buddy, the previous two dogs were black labs. I hope to write about some of my discussions that I have with Bandit in the future. I once owned, but since sold and a satirical and irreverent sports blog that was moderately successful. I was published in the left-wing national sports media by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. I am "stuck" in Alabama working for a military contractor. I am working so fricking hard to get back to Southeast New Mexico or West Texas. Fingers and toes crossed.

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