They spend every waking moment protecting us from harm. They deserve our admiration and our thanks. But not all soldiers get the support that they need. While outwardly tough and strong, a soldier’s life is always made…
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The truth is that single soldiers make up more than a third of the United States’ army (BOSS site). These soldiers are fighting machines, dedicated to god and country. Nevertheless it helps them to have support at home and not to be all alone. The Army has recognized this, creating Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS). According to its website:
BOSS provides an avenue for single Soldiers to surface issues and to take part in activities but does not set policy and other guidance on issues. BOSS is intended to enhance command authority, prerogative, and responsibility in maintaining standards of conduct, good order, and discipline, not to dilute.
This is an excellent first step in recognizing the problems faced by single soldiers. Drawing such people together into a cohesive unit in order to address their quality of life issues and their morale is a key development in the history of the evolution of the army. These individuals, often young, need sustenance. The Army can provide this too.
There are other unique challenges faced by the single soldiers. The benefit structure the army provides is geared towards soldiers with families. This is true of other armies around the world. An excellent example was recently reported in Canada. Canada may have a much smaller standing army than the United States, but there too the problem of single soldiers has surfaced in a public and contentious manner. The families of four unmarried soldiers that were killed in Afghanistan stepped forward recently to file human-rights complaints in that country. They say that the government discriminated in favour of married troops by paying a $250,000 death benefit. According to the Canadian Press:
A federal human-rights tribunal rejected the complaint of Lincoln and Laurie Dinning because Veterans Affairs abruptly decided to recognize their sons girlfriend as his common-law spouse,
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