Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars

While your taxpayer dollars paid for male soldier’s briefs, your taxpayer dollars were considered a misuse of funds if they would have been used to pay for female soldiers’ sports bras and undies.

My first paycheck by the military was only $304.97 every two weeks after taxes. It would have been a little bigger the first month, but because the Army didn’t issue under garments to female soldiers like they did the male soldiers, we had to buy our own sports bras and undies from our own paychecks.

Since we were required to either show proof that we had purchased our own or have them issued to us only if we agreed to have the expenses deducted from our paychecks, we still came out of pocket one way or another. It seemed that protecting men’s jewels took priority over protecting women’s breast from bouncing while running.

The young naive me didn’t really argue with it because the Drill Sergeants’ petrifying demeanor was enough to not give it a thought. Most of the other females and I just went with it. But late at night when all the lights were out and no Drill Sergeants were around, I could hear the loud whispers filled with rage about the inequality of the whole thing.

As I dosed into sleep, I realized that it was unfair, but my body was too tired to allow my thoughts to continue. My deep sleep seemed to last only but a minute because next thing I knew, I was being woken up at 4:30am by a Drill Sergeant banging cymbals in our sleeping quarters.

Again, there was no time to think about anything other than to not tick-off the Drill Sergeants. Besides, Drill Sergeants could detect the second someone’s mind would wander into their own thoughts. Anything not related to what was happening at the moment was unacceptable.

But anyway, I wanted to share this with you because I recently had a conversation with my husband who also served in the Army about this. As he was telling our kids about his experience in basic training, he mentioned that we got certain things issued to us, to include his underwear.  

So, I shared my experience about that and my husband was shocked because he had no idea that female soldiers were not issued underwear like they were. Moments like these have been what gave me the idea of writing about about my military experience years ago.

However, it wasn’t until last year that I actually started really writing it. I’m excited about this project because I know that it will help those who are thinking about joining the services and it might answer some questions. This book includes my story about the enlistment process, my experiences while serving (successes and challenges) and my experience as a veteran and as a caregiver for my husband who is a disabled veteran.

This aspect of my book is extremely important because I wholeheartedly believe that each individual who wants to serve or who is serving should know what to expect after service especially if they end up having military related health challenges.

Perhaps this little peek at what my personal experience was like will help people feel more confident about whatever the decision they make in regards to joining the Armed Forces. The military, like any other job in the world has it’s good and it’s bad parts. Anytime someone has asked me if I’d do it all over again, I don’t hesitate to say YES!

It was one of the most grueling, yet fulfilling experiences of my life and I’m very proud to be a military veteran.

The fact is that military life is not all attractive and that it isn’t like the romanticized stories you read about or watch in movies. So, the best part about the book I’ll be releasing later this year is that those who will read the book and decide to enlist will have a realistic insight of what they will be getting into. And that’s way better than going in blind. Because knowing what to expect will completely change their experience.

If you have specific questions about the military or about post military service that you’d like to see included in the book, comment below.

   Much love, 

 

5 thoughts on “Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars”

    1. Yes, I asked a friend of mine who just ended his time as a Drill Sergeant and he confirmed that female soldiers still have to purchase their own sports bras and undies. You’d think that would have changed by now, right?

      1. I started sending care packages to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 when I learned that the military does not provide enough Kotex pads or other “needs” for women’s menstrual periods. I was shocked and dismayed. I made sure that each contact I had to send a care package included women in the troop and the box included “feminine needs.”

        1. Yes Anna. That is correct, a lot of things women need during the deployment are not usually thought of for care packages but non-profits that send them out seem to be catching up with this. The most needed things are wipes, pads, tampons and even disposable undies. Thanks for commenting and for supporting our service members.

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