The military pay raise is shrinking.

The military housing stipend is shrinking.

The military commissary benefit is under fire.

And now Congress may start charging active-duty families for medical care.

If lawmakers follow through with the least generous pay-and-benefits proposals under consideration as part of the federal government’s 2017 budget process, next year could be one of the toughest in recent memory for military families’ finances. Even advocates accustomed to the political fights over service members’ quality-of-life issues say they’re surprised at just how much lawmakers seem to be targeting military benefits. And they worry it won’t hit troops’ wallets alone, but their morale too.

It’s a stunning turnaround for those who provided troops and their families with generous incentives throughout much of the post-9/11 era. Since 2013, when Washington first fought to curtail defense spending, annual pay raises have averaged just 1.1 percent. Retention bonuses — worth tens of thousands of dollars during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — have dropped off as combat deployments slowed and the services were forced to reprioritize their funding.

Read More- Military Times

Image courtesy of istockphoto

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