hagelchuck_dempseymartin_022414gettyBenefits for active­ duty personnel and their families would be slashed under a budget proposal released Monday by the Pentagon. The budget would dramatically reduce the Army’s size and trigger a new round of controversial base closures while cutting healthcare copays and deductibles and reducing the subsidies military families get for housing and low-cost goods. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged the cuts would be controversial but argued they were unavoidable in a belt-tightening era following the end of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Congress has taken some important steps in recent years to control the growth in compensation spending, but we must do more,” he said. Lawmakers, as well as groups that represent veterans and the military, accused the Pentagon of balancing its pocketbook on the backs of soldiers and their families. More