In order to pay for President Trump’s border wall, the Pentagon will take funding from over 100 military projects. Planned construction across the world will be halted for Trump’s signature campaign promise. The president’s victory, however, means some Americans, particularly our servicemembers, will lose.
Over $3.6 billion in appropriated funds from Congress will go towards new construction between the United States and Mexico. The money is not enough for a complete, 2,000 miles wall. Instead, it will be split among 11 new projects, including repairing and replacing current fencing.
These 11 plans for enhanced border protection are replacing 127 others. These are projects that received specific funding from the government. They have been in the works for a long time. Now, because Trump must deliver on his promise to “build that wall,” our servicemen and women, along with their families, will have to wait even longer for new facilities.
Although the projects that are losing funding are all construction projects for the military, this decision affects every single American. These projects will build infrastructure to help train troops both at home and abroad. Others will improve the lives of military families.
Some of the projects which had their funding pulled are a training complex in Germany and a space control facility in Colorado. All of them are meant to support the armed forces. These are men and women who voluntarily give up time with their families and friends to make the nation safe.
Before celebrating the fact that the border will become a little more secure, ask yourself who gets hurt by this decision? The president will never do anything to hurt himself, even if his decision does not follow government protocol. He will do whatever is necessary to stay on top.
Trump has previously said that his administration has been providing the military with “record funding,” yet it is so quick to take away that money. With this decision by the Pentagon, our service members and their families are the ones who lose. The rest of the country loses right along with them.
New School for Military Kids a No-Go
One of the projects that the Pentagon diverted funding from is a childcare center at Joint Base Andrews. A new elementary school in Wiesbaden, Germany will also be delayed. The school is meant for the children of American soldiers who live on the base.
Military children living abroad are not the only ones who will lose a new school to the border wall. At Fort Campbell in Kentucky, middle schoolers will have to stay in their old, small classrooms. The message the Pentagon is sending these children is that their education is not worth as much as 175 miles of fencing.
The new school, which would serve 552 students, lost $62.6 million funds. There are plenty of run-down schools across America lacking both supplies and space to meet the needs of their students. The difference with this school, however, is the children it serves.
Many of these children live on the base and do not grow up with the same stability other children do. They often do not have both their parents around, so their school is a constant and consistent presence. The nation owes it to these middle schoolers, and all other military children, to provide them with a comfortable and effective educational space.
The Pentagon’s decision is sure to frustrate and disappoint many military families who either live on bases across the world or use their resources. Losing new buildings for education and dining will lower morale. It makes a difficult job even harder because it can make it seem like the nation’s leaders do not completely support you and your family.
Puerto Rico, Still Recovering from Hurricane Maria, Loses
Puerto Rico also stands to lose with the diversion of funds for Trump’s wall. The community is still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years after the storm’s landfall. Ten projects will lose funding, including two new National Guard readiness centers.
About $400 million of the total $3.6 billion will be taken from Puerto Rico. Several of the projects were scheduled to begin construction next September. There is still time for Congress to provide them with more funds. However, many in Washington are frustrated because the funds were already allocated for these specific plans.
Hurricane Maria is not the sole perpetrator of the devastation in Puerto Rico. The president’s ignorance and mismanagement turned an awful situation into a humanitarian crisis. Last September, Trump made headlines when he publicly disputed the official death toll. “3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” he tweeted.
In his mind, the death toll he heard during his first visit immediately after the storm, way back in September 2017, was correct. Besides questioning if the number of dead could rise from 18 to 3,000, he continues to suggest that the U.S. territory has received more financial aid that they have.
The loss of funding for military construction is not breaking news. Back in February, Trump declared a national emergency at the border. He did this so that he could access about $8 billion in funds to stop illegal immigration. When the announcement of his declaration was made, it was also made clear that about $3.6 billion would come from other military projects.
The proposals that had their funds stripped are meant to keep our military prepared for any situation. They are for the families of our service members, particularly their children. These are Americans who sacrifice much for our nation’s security and stability. Regardless of whether or not you support Trump’s glorious wall, keep in mind who will benefit and who will lose.