January 5

Regarding the Dec. 27 Associated Press article, “Veterans aren’t giving up the fight over their benefits”:

The growth in military personnel costs that supposedly must be “tamed” is in fact a 10-year catch-up effort enacted by Congress to close a pay gap that had grown to 14 percent. Parity has been achieved, and that growth will level off. Pay and benefits must be competitive because almost three of four recruitment-age Americans cannot qualify for military service, and those left have other career options. If military pay and benefits are the same as those of civilians, there is little incentive to join an organization with the inherent risks of military life. One of the world’s richest nations can afford a military compensation and benefits package that matches the dangers and hardships its defense personnel must endure.

Gordon R. Sullivan, Arlington

The writer, a retired Army general, is president and chief executive of Association of the United States Army.