Jim Harper, the individual chosen to be interviewed for the headline article in the Monday BND, was a poor choice to illustrate any negative conditions for a military retiree in Illinois.
In 2008, an active duty colonel (O6) like Harper had basic pay and allowances of more than $124,000 per year. At retirement of 24 years or more, this retired colonel makes 50 percent to 75 percent of his basic pay of about $107,000, which would amount to about $80,000 today with annual cost-of-living increases. This, added to the fact that Illinois residents pay no state income tax on their government retirement and free medical services and commissary are available at Scott Air Force Base, makes life seem a lot better than for most citizens.
I question why someone making $80,000 per year needs to find a job after retirement to make enough to survive when most people will never make that much in their lives. I fail to see any hardship here.