The Dec. 19 letter, “Cut waste, not earned benefits” is too self-serving and filled with entirely too much self pity. What “hellish situation” has he actually endured? Painting something perhaps? The only thing he mentions is being apart from his family. Well he wasn’t drafted, he joined, and stayed, voluntarily. If you don’ want to be away from your family, then don’t join the Navy! Duh! To compare himself to someone who fought at Gettysburg is ridiculous. Those men fought and died in hand to hand combat with only crude medical help available. Against an actual threat to the country I might add. He’s cruising in uncontested waters, sleeping in a clean dry bunk and eating three hot meals a day. The worst thing that could happen to him is he’d have to clean a bilge. And how does he figure that his entitlements are earned and others’ are not? If he thinks that he’s being shortchanged all he has to do is get out. When I served in the ’70s my pay was $5,200 a year before taxes, and I didn’t do a bunch of whining about it either.