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Michigan lawmakers request better food for National Guard members after complaints of moldy, undercooked meals

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 3/3/2021 Mica Soellner
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A bipartisan group of Michigan House lawmakers is asking for better-quality meals to be served to National Guard troops after reports that the soldiers stationed in the Capitol were served moldy and undercooked food.

The lawmakers said guardsmen have reached out to their offices to report they have been served raw, undercooked food that was occasionally moldy. Some even say their meals were filled with metal shavings.

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"We understand that the decision was made to provide contracted meals to support the entire federal response stationed at the Capitol," the lawmakers wrote to the chief of the National Guard. "However, it is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers. It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington D.C. are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided."

To corral the issue, the lawmakers requested that a new food contractor come in or that the guardsmen be provided with a per diem for their remaining time in Washington.

"The members of the National Guard have served honorably throughout the duration of this operation. We must never turn our backs on our soldiers, especially as they have demonstrated time and time again that haven’t turned our backs on us," the lawmakers said.

Among those who signed the letter include Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Rashida Tlaib, Fred Upton, Peter Meijer, and Debbie Dingell.

On hearing reports of the poor-quality food, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she would not extend the state National Guard's deployment to Washington, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.

Though the governor didn't directly link her choice not to extend deployment to the poor quality food, she called the reports "inexcusable" and phoned the heads of the U.S. Army and the leader of the Michigan National Guard to go check on the soldiers.

Whitmer previously sent 1,000 troops to Washington to help with security after President Biden's inauguration.

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More than 20,000 National Guard troops have been present in Washington since before Inauguration Day. The uptick in security followed a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that left five people dead.

The Pentagon estimates about 6,000 troops will be kept in Washington until mid-March, but a presence could remain until fall for additional security precautions.

Tags: News, National Guard, Michigan, Military, Debbie Dingell, Rashida Tlaib, Fred Upton, Pentagon

Original Author: Mica Soellner

Original Location: Michigan lawmakers request better food for National Guard members after complaints of moldy, undercooked meals

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