The writer forgot to compare the typical salary of an active duty member with those of a civilian. The military is paid significantly less for their services - the difference is made up in benefits such as free health and dental and subsidies for housing and food. These are not huge amounts. Being able to pay significantly less for food and clothing is often the only way a military member can afford those things. This applies overseas and in the US, since the rate of pay is determined by rank and not location. Think of the tax break as food stamps for the military.
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