Ten years after mustering out, UK vets struggle to make ends meet
WATFORD - May 1, 2062 - Ten years ago, Lance Corporal Rosalind Jeffreys received her discharge paperwork at a ceremony that marked the "decommissioning" of all human combat forces in the Royal Air Force. Today, Jeffreys and her husband live with another former military family in a small two-bedroom flat in Watford.
"Well, it's not ideal," says the good-humored Jeffreys, who supplements her military pension as a bartender. "But it's sort of an English tradition, isn't it, resenting elected officials for breaking promises. We make do."
Jeffreys isn't the only one having to "make do." According to a study conducted by the Social Welfare Research Institute, 75% of veterans polled report they are unable to cover living expenses with their pension income alone. Researcher Harold Adeyemi explains, "It's a complicated situation. Ten years, ago, few people anticipated just how high and how quickly the cost of living would rise. As funding of the NHS has gradually been siphoned into the coffers of corporate healthcare providers, it's become increasingly difficult for veterans to access medical care. Those are just two factors of probably thousands contributing to straits becoming so dire for our veterans. But I suppose that's little comfort to someone who's struggling to feed their children."