Major federal budget cuts have been announced for Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors programs in all 50 states effective 10/1/12 for fiscal year 2013. 29% cut in operating funds. 33% cut in personnel.
This on the heels of previous annual budget cuts that have already impacted Military Funeral Honors programs over the last number of years. These cuts are grave. They will severely impact the ability of these dedicated Army National Guard soldiers to render proper and deserved honors to all those who have earned them in both national and private cemeteries.
In New York State alone, the New York Military Forces Honor Guard performs some 900 services per month, second only to California. — 29% cut in operations means severe reductions in or the complete elimination of government service vehicles that transport ANG soldiers to their funeral details, communications devices used by NG soldiers to schedule and coordinate their funeral details, training, equipment and uniforms. 33% cut in personnel puts at risk the availability of the soliers themselves to render honors everywhere and at all times called upon. These cuts eliminate any stipend or support of all Veterans’ Service Organizations, who assist the National Guard at these military funeral services. And yes, stipends for live Taps.
These cuts must be reversed! Contact Washington and post this information for “We the People” to see…. Tell your US Senators and US Congressmen and women that these cuts are NOT a sign of the times. They are a sign of broken promises to honor the men and women who honor America with their service and with their lives.
I am the wife of the Chief Bugler for the NY Military Forces Honor Guard in the Southern District – LI National and Calverton National Cemeteries.
Maria DiLeo ( firstname.lastname@example.org)