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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hinesville GA & Ft. Stewart Get a Big Dose of Hope and Change

For 3 years, the city of Hinesville GA - home of Ft. Stewart & the 3rd ID - has been preparing for the influx of new military families with the addition of another brigade to the base. New homes have been built - expansion has been done at the base - new businesses have opened - all in anticipation of approximately 4,000 US Army troops and their families to the community. Lots of money, time and effort has gone into this preparation - Hinesville spent $451 million dollars to get ready for the influx. This would have been an economic boon to a community that has endured difficult times during the multiple deployments of our military men and women. Well forget about the economic stimulus that Ft. Stewart and Hinesville anticipated.

U.S. Army Secretary Pete Geren announced Tuesday in a memo to members of Congress that the Army would not be expanding by an additional brigade each at Fort Stewart, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo

Geren's announcement marks a shift in policy that caps total Army growth at 547,400 troops and comes as a blow to 3rd Infantry Division leaders and the surrounding Liberty County community, who were expecting another 4,000 soldiers as soon as 2010.

Community leaders and government officials are outraged - as well they should be...

"If we can't believe out government, who do we believe?" asked Williams." I know the devestation this is going to bring to this community. We deserve better." (State Representative Al Williams)

"I think if the government doesn't stand behind its work I think it's not only going to hurt Hinesville, it's going to hurt every military community in the country because they will hear about this and I think it will lessen any private sector, any city, any government anywhere to step up to the plate to accommodate any military community that needs that level of accommodation," said Sikes (local developer Clay Sikes)

"This isn't just an emotional disappointment but an economic one as well," said U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., in a prepared statement. "For three years now, ever since the Base Realignment and Closure Commission announced that Fort Stewart would pick up a new brigade, the community, bankers and developers have all been building the infrastructure as has the U.S. Army on the post itself."

What a crock and a slap in the face to the people of Hinesville and Ft. Stewart. The Obama DOD has pulled the rug out from under the entire community. In these economic times, the community could ill afford to throw away $451 million - actually even if the economy was not in the toilet that's a lot of money to flush away. This all ties back to the budget cuts to our defense and military...

Geren's announcement marks a shift in policy that caps total Army growth at 547,400 troops.

Capping an Army's growth in a world of terrorism and nuclear threats is not just dumb it's earth-shatteringly stupid. But what are we to expect from an administration who values green jobs more than the safety and security of our nation. What do we expect from a President who completely disavows our Christian history but claims we are a "muslim nation". Why don't we just wave the white flag of surrender?

This is another blunder from an administration that proves its incompetence on a daily basis. This broken promise not only impacts Hinesville, Ft Stewart and Liberty County - It trickles over to the entire country. If the government is willing to spit on our military installations and the towns that support them, what's next? I cringe at that thought. I don't think I would ask Liberty County residents about that "hope and change" thingie right now


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