Waltz Addresses Poor Military Barracks in Letter to Defense Secretary

Waltz Addresses Poor Military Barracks in Letter to Defense Secretary

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
September 28, 2023

After a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study providing “alarming findings” regarding poor living conditions of American military barracks, Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to address these concerns.

Rep. Waltz, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, produced the letter alongside Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-CA).

“The House Committee on Armed Services has long been concerned with the living conditions for our servicemembers, which is why the GAO study was mandated via the Joint Explanatory Statement that accompanied the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act,” Reps. Waltz and Garamendi wrote. “The Committee is laser focused on addressing readiness issues across the department and living conditions are a crucial element that impacts the quality of life, recruitment, and retention of our service members. The troubling findings no doubt affect recruitment and retention - areas all services continue to struggle with.”

They would go on to mention, “The men and women in uniform that serve our nation are our greatest assets; we owe it to them to provide the necessary resources to defend our nation which includes, at the bare minimum, satisfactory living conditions.”

The GAO study included concerns of serious risks that could affect mental and physical health. These concerns include mold, broken fire alarms, methane gas leaks, and aging plumbing, just to name a few.

“Chronic under-funding of infrastructure sustainment accounts has no doubt contributed to the steady decline in the quality of barracks and the poor living conditions our servicemembers must endure. Your attention to this request will allow the Subcommittee on Readiness to provide effective oversight of these activities and ensure our service members are provided with the quality housing they deserve,” the congressmen wrote.

Moreover, Waltz is seeking to alleviate the financial stresses of veterans. In a bipartisan effort, Waltz has introduced the Abbey Gate Gold Star Families Dignified Transport Act. The bill would reduce the financial burden on families that have tragically lost a loved one in the act of duty.

Introduced alongside Representatives Cory Mills (R-FL) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), the bill would expand upon the previous effort from Waltz and Moulton to have the Pentagon cover the cost to transport a servicemember’s remains to a second location if the second location is a National cemetery.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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