Another Democrat indignity for the National Guard: Toddler snack meals
The fiasco involving the Democrats' misuse of the National Guard just keeps expanding.
According to the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney:
National Guard troops stationed at the Capitol famously have had to nap on the building's marble floors, but that's not the worst thing about their working conditions. The food is. The reason: The National Guard Bureau hired a food contractor to feed the troops, but the contractor simply messed up.
The fare, it turns out, was junk food, which one Guardsman's wife called "toddler snacks." One example, from Carney, whose story has all the miserable proof in the pictures:
Here's another meal, supposed to get a soldier through the day until dinner.
That's a pair of Pop-Tarts, an apple, a granola bar, and a Capri Sun. As one source put it, "Are we asking adults to guard the Capitol, or are we sending 10-year-old kids to camp for the morning?"
So in addition to having to sleep on an icy garage floor in 30-some-degree weather after a full day of standing watch at the Capitol, to ensure that the fully vaccinated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't fear for her life, the troops get cheap low-protein junk food of the very lowest-end sort.
Capri Sun? Costco soft granola bars? Pop-Tarts? I estimate the retail value of those three plus the apple at less than $3.00, and if bought at wholesale, probably less. The vending machine two-pack cold Pop-Tart would run at $1.50 at retail, tops. The apple, maybe a dollar. The Capri Sun Pacific Cooler would cost $0.22 with a 30-pack retail purchase. The Costco-sold Kirkland Soft and Chewy granola bars, at $8.00 for a box of 64, would go for $0.13 a pop. Grand total at retail prices: $2.85. For 25,000 troops, the cost at retail for the meal to feed all would have been $71,250.
Do National Guard catering contracts, even magnified for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a 30-day window, really go that cheap? Here's an example of a Maryland restaurant that got a National Guard food contract — the food they serve looks quite impressive. I can't see them cobbling together toddler snacks.
So whoever it was, it kind of looks as though a contractor took the cash and minimized delivery, quite possibly keeping the extra for himself. There are more ways than one of creating a $6,000 toilet seat, it seems. Or perhaps there were problems with the Guard itself, and the contractor didn't get paid. If that was the case, maybe he had to cobble something together fast from food pantry scraps, which would explain the low nutritional value and very low cost across the board.
Whatever it was, the U.S. Army's own press about everything going swimmingly, echoed by an incurious ABC News, is a bit of a stretch. Cheap toddler snacks substituting as meals and delivered late isn't a healthy picture. Obviously, the Guardsmen had to go someplace and buy a proper meal. Jill Biden should have been passing out sandwiches instead of cookies.
By contrast, here's what the U.S. military's Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) self-described subsistence rations contain — things like chili with beans, shredded beef in barbecue sauce, tomato sauce with tortellini, each containing 51% carb, 13% protein, 36% fat. An army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon used to say.
Carney is right that some contractor messed up. It's likely it wasn't all of them, for sure, but for those on the serving end, it was far from what they deserved. Who is this contractor, and why is the National Guard Bureau not naming them? It goes in contradiction to the Guard's own press that claimed that the meal logistics and dedication of the staff were all in place. Carney had trouble ascertaining just who the heck was responsible, in fact, with the National Guard Bureau, which runs these contracts, first declaring that it weren't responsible, then, in a subliterate spokeswoman's statement, saying it was. Not a feather in the big boys' cap.
The ultimate blame lies with in the Democrats, who in their hysterical call to pull together so many in the National Guard, more than are defending Iraq and Afghanistan, and far more than they needed, opened the door to this fiasco. First it was the questioning of Guard loyalty and professionalism. Then it was the garage floor. Now it's the toddler snacks. They wanted a show of troops as a means to falsely claim that they are in danger from "terrorist" conservatives, yet they managed only to show their contempt for the military. All for their own self-aggrandizement, no less.
A pal of mine flew into Washington a few days ago and said the city with all its troops and no other urban life reminded him of the scenes he'd seen in the Ivory Coast under military occupation, or maybe a place like Cairo. One difference, he noted, though, was that the Guard actually looked mean and unhappy. Obviously, with Democrats feeding the troops junk food, making them sleep on a cold garage floor, questioning their loyalty, and abusing them even as they use them, it makes sense that the Guard might just be in a bad mood.