Proposed defense cuts concern Fort Bragg veterans - WRBL

Proposed defense cuts concern Fort Bragg veterans

Posted: Updated:
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -

A budget proposal by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is causing concern for some veterans because it reduces troop levels and some benefits.

On Monday Hagel said a major part of keeping the Department of Defense on target for the proposed budget is a reduction in force.

The Army would see the largest reduction. Full details can be found here:  http://www.wncn.com/story/24807093/hagel-proposes-big-cuts-in-army-in-2015-budget

A major reduction in troop numbers worries Army veteran Chuck Adams who lives in Raeford.

"That scares me," Adams said. "We're going to end up needing our troops again on the ground. That's all there is to it.

"We're going to need them, and you can't just qualify them in a couple of weeks or so and bring them in and give them a gun and send them into somewhere. It's not going to work."

veteran Danny Barefoot agrees. He served in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg several years ago. He said troop reductions will force out some troops who still want to serve.

"If you're downsizing the military positions aren't available," Barefoot explained. "So a person who's dedicated his life – 12, 16 years – is up for a promotion and, no fault of his, there are no positions to go to."

The cuts go beyond troop reductions. Base closures are proposed, along with shrinking pay raises. Military members would also see smaller housing allowances, changing health care benefits and $1 billion less for commissaries, which means grocery prices would likely increase.

For veterans, the health care changes could increase deductibles and co-pays.

"It's going to hurt us," Adams said. "It's going to hurt everybody that's on a fixed income especially."

One positive part of the Defense Department's budget proposal is that it does not call for a reduction in cyber warfare efforts or special operations forces. Those forces are based at Fort Bragg. Some community leaders outside of Fort Bragg remain hopeful that if cuts and base closures happen elsewhere, soldiers will be reassigned to Fort Bragg – increasing or maintaining the post's size instead of shrinking it.

Preliminary information also indicates that any aircraft that would be eliminated are not flown by the Air Force at Fort Bragg or Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    2 charged with first-degree murder in beating death of UNC professor, cancer researcher

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:00:14 GMT
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
    A UNC research professor was robbed and beaten to death Wednesday afternoon on University Drive in Chapel Hill, police said.
  • UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees

    UNC: Former athletes can return to finish degrees

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:04:36 GMT
    UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo)UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. (File photo)
    University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program Thursday that will allow former UNC athletes to return and finish their uncompleted degrees.
    University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program Thursday that will allow former UNC athletes to return and finish their uncompleted degrees.
  • 3 young siblings die after SUV in carjacking hits them; manhunt on for suspects

    3 young siblings die after SUV in carjacking hits them; manhunt on for suspects

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:10:14 GMT
    The SUV crashed in some woods close to where it hit the 3 children... CBS Newspath photoThe SUV crashed in some woods close to where it hit the 3 children... CBS Newspath photo
    Two men carjacked a woman at gunpoint but soon sped out of control, killing three children Friday as they plowed into a group selling fruit to raise money for their church, Philadelphia police said.
    Two men carjacked a woman at gunpoint but soon sped out of control, killing three children Friday as they plowed into a group selling fruit to raise money for their church, Philadelphia police said.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.