Michigan National Guardsmen can get reimbursed for DC meal expenses


Michigan Army and Air National Guard members prepare for mobilization for inauguration support, Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, Michigan, Jan. 16, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. David Eichaker)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state is helping to cover meal expenses for members of the Michigan National Guard who spent about two months in Washington, D.C., following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Nearly 1,000 Michigan guardsmen serving in D.C. complained that the food they were served by a contracted vendor was inedible — undercooked or raw, moldy and sometimes even contaminated with metal shavings. Many opted to start paying for outside food out-of-pocket.

In response, Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, introduced a bill to reimburse them. He and other lawmakers raised $110,000 in donations to be split among the soldiers.

The bill was passed by the state Legislature April 21. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law Thursday.

The Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs will now work to distribute grants among eligible guardsmen. That should happen within 45 days of the department receiving the money.

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