When the Mississippi Legislature convenes Wednesday for a special session, one of the items expected to be on the agenda is creating a special fund to help families of deployed soldiers. According to military officials we talked to, the fund is not expected to be made up of state funds but instead of private donations, something which they say are direly needed!
"I think sometimes the public thinks the military takes care of everything and they do, for the soldiers!"
However, Rick Posey with the Family Support Services for the local Army National Guard says such is not always the case with the soldier's families. While federal law secures soldiers jobs while they are gone, many are not paid during that time and their families are left to survive on a salary much less.
"You may have a college graduate working in a good job and he may have just entered the military and not have a lot of rank and it would be an immediate financial hardship on him," says Posey.
While some businesses are voluntarily paying soldiers at least a portion of their salaries while they're deployed, for all too many of them especially the lower ranking ones, this is not the base. This is something which is leaving many of them making less money but with more expenses.
"When you start paying these international rates for phone cards and things like that for them, that's just extra fees!"
Meanwhile, with no resistance expected in the Legislature concerning this bill, one local lawmaker says he expects it to pass early on the special session.