The government is open once again, and all furloughed employees have been sent back to work.
After 16 days that cost our national economy more than $24 billion, the president and Congress reached a deal that gives them more time to work together to come up with a budget plan. So after months of sequestration, more than two weeks of a government shutdown and a threat of defaulting, the government promised to work together.
Whew! Everyone was worried that this would not happen. It is hard to understand those last 16 days because what was done spread a lot of panic and served to alienate the American public from the elected officials in many respects. The deal promised a stiffer budget cut, which means that they will be looking at our military instillations to see where they can save money.
The dealmakers are ordered back to Washington, D.C., to begin Dec. 15. Here in our area, we already have received a cut to a brigade. We need to prevent any more cuts to this area. Plus, they still are toying with another round of BRAC in coming years.
Do not overlook that Washington only signed a deal to work on the budget. What the Senate and House have fought over for months is not settled — just postponed to a later date.
If there ever was a time for our community to come together and support our base, that time is now. We need you. Dec. 15 is not that far away. We do not want to wait until after a decision is made to fight it if it affects this area. We need to prevent even the consideration of our community and base as places that could handle more cuts.
The stronger we are as a community, the better chance we have to prevent budget cuts from affecting us. We have more of a chance for the BRAC commission to not even look at us if we show community involvement and support of our base. Remember, one of the top factors for BRAC is whether or not the surrounding community knows of the importance of their base and soldiers.
Now is the time to act. Join the movement to keep our region solvent and invest in the Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter today. For more information and to get involved, go to www.friendsofftstewartandhunter.com.
Hughes is the finance assistant for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce.