Stay The Course and Turn Out The Lights

Well if you are going to screw something up, might as well go the distance. Army post nationwide, are feeling the budget crunch, due to diversion of dollars to help fight the war in Iraq. A shortfall, to the tune of $530 Million at that. Causing the inability to pay utility bills, buy office equipment, keeping all dining halls open, buying chlorine for the pools where soldier’s kids take swimming lessons, or even buying enough feed for the horses that help carry soldier’s caskets to their graves.

A diversion of dollars to help fight the war in Iraq has helped create a $530 million shortfall for Army posts at home and abroad, leaving some unable to pay utility bills or even cut the grass.

In San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston hasn’t been able to pay its $1.4 million monthly utility bill since March, prompting workers in many of the post’s administrative buildings to get automated disconnection notices.

Fort Bragg in North Carolina can’t afford to buy pens, paper or other office supplies until the new fiscal year starts in October.

And in Kentucky, Fort Knox had to close one of its eight dining halls for a month and lay off 133 contract workers.

“Every time something goes away it impacts a person … a soldier or their family or one of our civilians,” said Col. Wendy Martinson, garrison commander at Fort Sam Houston, which has 27,300 military and civilian workers. “I’m charged with taking care of them, not taking things away from them.”

Garrisons function as the city halls of Army installations, providing services such as garbage removal, mail delivery and firefighting. The Army’s Installation Management Agency is $530 million short of what it needs through Oct. 1 to fund garrisons at the 117 installations it oversees in the United States, Europe and Asia, agency spokesman Stephen Oertwig said.

But one thing is for sure, let it have something to do with a Republican’s area, and then they get worried like the rest of us.

“Every day we’re looking at what are those services that are required to keep the Army going and where can we get efficiencies,” Oertwig said. “We’re looking to get a dollar’s worth of service out of 90 cents or less in some cases.”

That alarms U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican whose district includes Fort Sam Houston.

In a letter to Army Secretary Francis Harvey, Smith said he worries the budget crisis will affect Fort Sam Houston’s ability to accommodate the 11,000 additional personnel being sent there starting next year by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

“That Fort Sam cannot even pay for basic post operations is, frankly, Mr. Secretary, a disgrace,” he said.

Welcome the the reality of “Stay the Course” Congressman Smith! Enjoy the product of people like you and your ilk.

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8 Responses to Stay The Course and Turn Out The Lights

  1. Marq says:

    Great Catch, as an former Airman, it saddens me to see that Bush has placed in in such a position.

    For his birthday I hope he goes to hell…

  2. battlebob says:

    There used to be a joke about the air force needing bake sales to buy airplanes.
    It looks like reality has caught up with the humor.

  3. I wonder if Smith is up for re-election that he wants to apppear worried.

  4. Vietnam Vet says:

    Yes, and at the same time billions upon billions being poured into Iraq with no end in sight. Look at what I found on a Google search:

    “Money also disappeared in truckloads and by helicopter. The CPA reportedly distributed funds to contractors in bags off the back of a truck. In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the courier’s name or provide a good description of him.” See the Link:

    Look at the amount! And the bases only need $530M to fill the gap here at home! What a disgrace for this nation! This “thing” we call a president is destroying the country in more ways than one, including fiscal solvency, and we will be feeling the effects for decades to come. Our great, great, grandchildren will be paying the price for this man’s ego.

  5. Vietnam Vet says:

    Sorry, the specific link is Here:

    ***Fixed to go to direct link***

  6. Vietnam Vet says:

    Then, go down to MONEY FOR NOTHING.

    Sorry, the paste function did not work properly.

  7. Vietnam Vet,

    I fixed your link and the one in comment #5 should work now, for a direct link to the sight.

    Welcome to The Democratic Daily. BTW, Nice to have you here. You will find that I post on a lot of Veterans issues. Former Marine here, but if you were in another branch, I will not pick on you too much 😉

    I will check out the link you gave, and see what it has. Thanks so much for the input. Oh did you get your lil letter from the VA too, after the data theft? Insane I tell you!!!

  8. Vietnam Vet says:

    Donnie McDaniel Says:
    Vietnam Vet,

    I fixed your link and the one in comment #5 should work now, for a direct link to the sight.
    Thanks Donnie. I am retired US Army, though I served in the AF also; about half and half to 21 years. I did not get a letter yet, so maybe my data was not in there. I have been retired since 1975 so maybe the oldies were not in the data base.

    Take care.