National Guard troops at Capitol were reportedly hospitalized after eating poor quality food containing metal shavings and feathers. The meat found in the meals was also subpar.
National Guard troops hospitalized
Michigan members of the House of Representatives sent a letter Tuesday to Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, and shared their discontent with the findings.
“It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington D.C are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided,” according to the letter. “We request that either the current contract be voided and a new food provider be brought in or that the service members be provided with a per diem throughout their remaining time in Washington, D.C.”
According to a private National Guard update given to members of Congress, 59 people suffered gastrointestinal issues due to food consumed at the Capitol. More than a dozen deployed soldiers fell ill while some serious ones had to be hospitalized.
Soldiers shared pictures of pink chicken, undercooked beef, and moldy food with lawmakers and online. Moreover, one staff sergeant disclosed several meals had to be discarded when metal shavings were found inside dishes.
Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Daniel Kildee, Democrats of Michigan, demanded to fire and substitute the meal contractor, requesting directly to the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon.
“It is simply unacceptable that these men and women are being fed chicken with the feathers still attached, and raw ground beef,” said Peters. “After several attempts to rectify the situation and little progress, I believe that the only appropriate course of action is for the immediate cancellation of the existing food contract, the disbursement of per diem for the remaining duration of the mission and to provide retroactive per diem.”
Yesterday, my colleagues and I called on the National Guard Bureau to immediately end the food contract for the 1,000 Michigan National Guard service members currently deployed to Washington, D.C. pic.twitter.com/14SLV2n9Zn
— Senator Ed McBroom (@SenEdMcBroom) March 3, 2021
Deployment ends on March 12
Around 5,000 troops are deployed at the Capitol amid fears of a fresh siege. This includes 1,000 members from the Michigan National Guard. Their deployment will end on March 12.
According to the Michigan National Guard, “the reports of undercooked and poorly prepared food provided to our service members in Washington, D.C. very concerning. The firsthand accounts and pictures of undercooked food being served clearly show that what is being given to Michigan’s service members is unacceptable.”
The Guard said the complaint was forwarded to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who called Acting Secretary of the Army John E. Whitley “to communicate Michigan’s concerns”.