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Low Navy pay for lower ranks not new

The financial struggles of Navy lower-level enlisted personnel described in a recent article is not new. ("Thousands of military families not getting enough food," Nov. 15) In the early 1960s, as the wife of an enlisted man and mother of two, we were eligible for California welfare, but never notified.

Several years later fellow Day reporter Norm Soderberg and I wrote a five-part series on the financial difficulties enlisted men with families encountered. We interviewed dozens of men and women — often at laundromats and off-base. After the articles appeared Navy officials complained to The Day editor that we had not interviewed any officers!

It seems the old Navy saying "If the Navy wanted you to have a wife, she'd have been in your seabag" still holds true.

Mary (Maynard) Drake



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