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
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
"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
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.
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 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>>