Hey, you gonna’ pay for that?

Do wounded soldiers really have to pay for their own food?

This story has been getting some airplay recently. It’s reported that wounded troops returning from Iraq are forced to pay for their own meals. Stop the Bleating takes this one head-on (archives apparently bloggered again, so scroll to “I’M A LITTLE TIRED OF CLUELESS PUNDITS”). He points out that the soldiers are given a subsitence allowance, above and beyond their normal pay, and that it covers the meals. Phil Carter at Intel Dump notes:

Just another example of how soldier gripes can spin the media because the media doesn’t know enough about the military to understand what’s really going on. (See, e.g., Paul Krugman’s column several weeks ago about soldiers getting only 3 liters of water/day in Iraq).

People are pre-disposed, and with good reason, to believe stories of government idiocy. But that doesn’t meant that everything you hear is literally true. If these guys really ARE paying for their meals out of their own pocket, and not with money paid expressly for that purpose, something must be done NOW. But if the system really is working as Stop the Bleating and Intel Dump think it is, then it’s working just fine. Congress had better find out what it is they’re voting on before they pull the levers on this one.