Lawmaker says military bands cost too much - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Lawmaker says military bands cost too much

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Did you know the Department of Defense spends over $10,000 to buy flutes and tubas?
The House of Representatives just voted to spend less on military bands.

Right now there are a total of 6500 musicians in the military.
An Arizona lawmaker says over $430 million dollars a year is spent on instruments and travel expenses for military bands.
The army alone has 99 bands.

Rep. Martha McSally, a retired Air Force Colonel, says these bands spend too much time and taxpayer dollars entertaining general, dignitaries and elected officials.
McSally says a dollar spent entertaining is a dollar not spent on national security and our troops.

21 News talked with Austintown graduate Raymond Hartsough who spent 6 years in the WV Army National Guard Band.
He says it changed his life.

"When a soldier comes home in a body bag their families are still there. The best way you can honor them, somebody who gave their life so you can be free, is to at least play taps at their funeral. I played taps at almost 200 funerals," says Hartsough.

McSally says the legislation does not want to target cuts to effect funerals but Hartsough says the bands are about more than that.

"That situation where they are taking away jobs from musicians or more importantly soldiers, to take away that opportunity is asinine," says Hartsough.

While cuts have been approved by the house they still need to pass the Senate where they will likely face some opposition.

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