This story from CNN about some enlisted Marines who entered into fictitious marriages so the women involved could live together off base got me thinking about the ongoing battles when I was in between single guys who were pissed off that married guys doing the same job as them got paid more, vs. married guys who laughed in their faces. Excerpt from the story:
Vice told CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego that she wanted to live off base with her girlfriend, Jaime Murphy, as a couple. Murphy is a civilian.Leaving aside the question about why the civilian girlfriend couldn't get a job to help pay for their off-base apartment, the concept of "there's no trying to steal" in attempting to fraudulently get BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) at the "with dependents" rate is one I've seen before. I personally never had a problem with the cases I saw where a couple who were going to get married after deployment had a "secret" civil wedding beforehand so they could pocket the extra six months of married pay, but other cases I heard about seemed more like stealing. I always believed that the military had good reason to encourage marriage among its members -- married guys tend not to get hauled in for doing stupid stuff on liberty, in my experience -- but my viewpoint might have been skewed because I was married for 19 of my 21+ years on active duty. I knew a lot of guys who were almost violently opposed to the "double standard".
But on her salary, she couldn't afford it.
So she says she found a Marine, Jeremiah Griffin, who agreed to marry her so she could receive the $1,200 per month living stipend the Marine Corps gives to married couples living off base.
A year and a half later, Murphy did the same thing and married Marine Joseph Garner, Vice and Murphy told KGTV, according to footage that aired Thursday...
...The three Marines are accused of pocketing about $75,000.
"There's no conspiracy here," Murphy told KGTV. "There's no trying to steal from anybody. We just wanted to be together and she wanted to serve her country."