I am tired of all the accusations, such as those expressed by a letter writer Jan. 5, that military families don't pay their own way. My family (a military family that has lived in Virginia for three years) was amazed to find that we were getting a free ride -- all those commissaries and golf courses and free schools that were mentioned in the letter.

Well, I am the wife of a U.S. Air Force officer, and I work in Virginia so we can afford to live in Virginia. I pay state income tax just like everybody else. I've never set foot on a golf course. I'm too busy working and "clogging" those roads the letter writer mentions. I also stop at the local gas station to buy gas, and I pay sales tax to support roads like everybody else.

Yes, I use the commissary, but only twice a month because of its distance from my home. The rest of the time, I'm in Giant or Safeway shopping and paying sales taxes like everybody else. I'm also seen in a lot of local stores and businesses shopping and paying sales taxes like everybody else.

We register two vehicles in Virginia and paid Virginia for those vehicles like everybody else. We do not own a house in Virginia, but a lot of military families do. And they pay property taxes like everybody else.

Please stop thinking that we are not paying our fair share. We are.

LILLIAN CHOFFEL

Fairfax