Michigan House Republicans
Rep. LaFave finds treatment of National Guard members disgraceful, supports fellow lawmaker’s resolution to provide back pay
RELEASE|March 12, 2021
Contact: Beau LaFave

State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, issued the following statement in reaction to the poor living conditions servicemembers were subjected to during their deployment, and addresses a measure from Rep. John Damoose, who represents a portion of the Upper Peninsula, to rectify the issue:

“As chairman of the Committee on Military, Veterans & Homeland Security, it is my honor to support the brave men and women who serve and protect us. One way we are doing that is by opening an investigation into complaints of poor-quality food being provided to Michigan troops while deployed to our nation’s capital. A resolution was recently introduced in the committee that would provide a retroactive food allowance to members who experienced these conditions, and I am proud to say we brought it to a vote immediately, where it passed.

“It is disgraceful that our guardsmen were being served undercooked and moldy food as they nobly answered the call of duty, but additionally denying Catholic servicemembers the option of vegetarian and fish-based meals during the Lenten season is totally unjustifiable, as it would be for any other religious observance under similar circumstances. Our military serves vegetarian food to soldiers in third world countries – there is no reason on Earth as to why they should not be given that option in our metropolitan capital.

“These issues have frustratingly persisted, despite members of the Guard speaking up to advocate for themselves many times. In the coming weeks, we will be holding additional hearings on this matter. I encourage any troops, or their family members, with knowledge of these issues to call my office, and I can guarantee full anonymity for those wishing to submit testimony to the committee.

“As the Michigan delegation prepares for their deployment to end, I would like to sincerely apologize on behalf of myself and the committee for what they endured. Our military members never asked for 5-star treatment, but they do deserve our respect and far better treatment than the conditions they were subjected to. I am determined to see through a full investigation.”

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