Veteran and entrepreneur Colin Wayne, founder of Redline Steel, said on Veterans Day that military personnel should receive increased compensation with funds reallocated from foreign aid in an interview on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Wayne said increasing total compensation — including salary and benefits — for military servicepersons should be the priority for policymakers seeking to improve the capability and preparedness of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“First thing is to compensate the military much more than what they’re currently paid,” he remarked. “You’re putting your life on the line. I don’t think first responders — law enforcement, military included — [are] paid enough. That’s an honest truthful answer.
He said “anybody that’s willing to die for this country overseas to protect this nation” should receive commensurate compensation to the risks they assume.
Increased military compensation would further improve recruitment to the armed services, Wayne added. In June, the White House was reported to be considering lowering eligibility criteria — including health and medical standards — in response to its failures to meet its own recruitment targets.
Improvements in military compensation “would help significantly” with recruitment, Wayne assessed.
“If you take care of the military, you’re incentivized to join. It would be challenging for me to want to sign up and have a base pay of $1,900. That’s just not exciting, besides the fact that you would want to honor or fight and protect this nation for what it stands for.”
Wayne said much of America’s foreign aid spending is profligate
“Government overspending is exactly why we’re where we’re at today,” he held. “This money should be back to the people that are in uniform.”
The federal government is “sending the military into places that are all over the world” in ways that amount to “a waste of time effort, resources, money,” he added. “We should be looking out for this nation first. We should be ensuring that we’re taken care of before even considering the support to other nations.”
He concluded, “We have a lot of challenges right in front of us, and we should be looking at that as a priority. Nothing else matters until we fix what’s domestically [broken].”
Wayne, a retired U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, urged businesses to maintain permanent special offers for veterans and active-duty military personnel as opposed to temporary Veterans Day deals.
He told Breitbart News, “We shouldn’t need a date to remind us that we should show our appreciation to those that fought to protect this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic. More businesses should consider discounts throughout the year instead of only one day of the year, or simply stay consistent without giving a discount. In my opinion, it’s disrespectful to use Veterans Day as a one-day capitalization of the holiday to show support for Veterans.”
A 2022 report from the Congressional Research Service estimated that “foreign assistance” amounted to $48.18 billion in federal government spending during its 2019 fiscal year, with the majority of dollars ostensibly slated for “development” and “humanitarian” purposes abroad.
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.