Fort Benning cutbacks: civilian contractors are first to go - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning cutbacks: civilian contractors are first to go

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

They may be the first casualties of decreased government spending at Fort Benning.  Civilian contractors and employees are losing their jobs at the biggest source of economic vitality in our region.

 A current employee who wishes to remain anonymous said he witnessed nineteen people get sent home this week, and more are on the list.

 "They're laying off all over Fort Benning, and we don't know if it's for the furlough or what it's for, but they've been telling us it's because the government has a lack of money. Some of my co-workers just had children.  Some of them just bought houses and cars, and now they're looking at foreclosures, repos. You know, things like that." 

 Some say they've been observing this trend progressing for quite some time.  One man said he lost his job as a checkpoint guard last spring. 

 "I worked there for roughly a year, and due to attrition we were let go, about 38 of us," said Gary Robinson, "There's rumors flying everywhere, as far as, due to the draw down- you know, guys coming back- they've got to do something with those soldiers."

 Robinson believes no other government sectors are as important as the one that guarantees protection from our enemies.

 "And I'm a firm believer.  When you start looking for cuts, the military should be your last option.  We need to always make sure that our military is strong to meet the challenges that face us.  You've got North Korea, you've got Iran," said Robinson. 

 Beyond the importance of our military to the country at large, the local region needs Fort Benning to stay strong for the good of our surrounding population. 

 Fort Benning officials said there is no new information and no recent announcements have been made regarding their budget.  Military personnel are not part of these job cuts, and if civilians are losing their jobs, it's nothing that Fort Benning has directly initiated.

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