Valdosta Daily Times

September 22, 2013

Moody’s library important for base morale

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — When money becomes tight, it makes sense to make cuts. People have to do it all the time to ensure they can still pay their bills. Choices have to be made, often very tough choices, between  what we consider necessities versus luxuries.

So when the current administration began tightening the budget for the military, it was only a matter of time before what were once considered necessities on a military base become luxuries that can be eliminated.

The military has been enduring cuts for years, from health care benefits to pay. The cuts have come beside an overall decrease in the number of men and women in the military, and an overall erosion of benefits they receive.

The current target at Moody AFB is the library. Outraged patrons have lit up the phone lines to the Times to complain and to see if publicity might help keep the facility open. Time will tell, but it looks like the base is attempting to reach a compromise that would keep the materials available, even if the facility is closed.

Some may think it’s no big deal. There are other libraries in the community. Military families can go to another one. Off base. True. But they can also choose to take another career path and not go into the military at all.

The few perks military members enjoy are supposed to help make up for the lengthy separations from their families, long work hours, strenuous workout regimens, and the ability to instantly mobilize, any time the call of duty comes.

If a library helps military family members feel connected, gives them access to resources, and provides a place for airmen to study for their all important promotion exams, it seems that the funds could be found to keep it open and operating, even on a lighter schedule.

So much has been taken from the military while at the same time so many expectations have been placed on them. Sometimes the small perks like a library can make a big difference in morale and welfare.

Hopefully, Moody officials will find a way to work through this issue for everyone’s benefit.