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military pay

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FORT BRAGG — They are ready to sacrifice their lives to serve and protect us. However,when payday rolls around, some Fort Bragg troops find themselves fightingjust to make ends meet.

Uncle Sam's 2.8% increase in military pay will notbe enough to keep up with inflation or with pay raises in the privatesector. That's not the news that many military families want to hear.

Many Fort Bragg soldiers say that their paychecks are barely enough onwhich to get by. Friday night, Sergeant Jim Wilson is out of uniform, buton the clock. He works part-time at Sears to earn some extra cash, and hesays that lots of soldiers take extra jobs.

For nine years, Staff Sergeant Jason Werner has collected a paycheck fromthe Army, and he says that it never seems to go very far.

Amber Farris and her daughter spend time Jennifer Ulam's home whiletheir husbands are training at Fort Bragg. Ulam says that the amount ofher husband's paycheck doesn't seem to reflect his service to the country.

Farris feels that her family is stuck in a financial rut -- livingpaycheck to paycheck, always trying to save a little for next year.

Young soldiers with families have the most difficulty getting by on theirwages. An estimated 500 of them are on food stamps in CumberlandCounty.

While many military families are not satisfied with the pay, they saythat they are pleased with the extensive government benefits package,especially the health care coverage for dependents.

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