Military Cancels Memorial Day Fleet Week Appreciation Event While Government Spends Nearly $1 Million on Empty Bank Accounts

In 1984, the New York City area has hosted Fleet Week during the Memorial Day holiday.  It’s the community’s way of showing appreciation to members of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.  In recent years, the event has welcomed over 6,000 members of the military.

Fleet Week consists of all kinds of shows and events that last for most of the week.  A number of celebrities join in the programs to entertain and say thank you to our troops.  Please read the pleas below from a father of three active military personnel and from Medal of Honor Recipient, Col. Jack Jacobs, US Army Ret. as they strive to help keep Fleet Week alive.

However, Fleet Week this year has been cancelled by the military due to the sequestration budget cuts.  The news is not setting well with many local people for several reasons, the most important being the ability to say thank you for their service.  Secondly, the cancellation will cost area businesses over $20 million in lost revenue.

Over the past few years, the Navy has spent around $10 million of Fleet Week and due to sequestration they say they have had to cancel this year’s celebration.  Various organizations including the USO are doing everything they can to raise enough funds to still host the event.

I find it difficult to understand why the Obama administration would go so far out of their way to hurt our military personnel just to try to make a political point.  They have used sequestration to reduce military training and to eliminate the military tuition assistance program for active members.  If you would like to help thank our sea faring military members for their service, go to USO and make a donation.

Yet, the government continues to waste millions of dollars on totally meaningless things like funding research on animal sex.  One of the latest things I read about wasteful government spending has to do with paying for empty bank accounts.

According to a report from the General Accounting Office, the federal government is currently paying to keep 13,712 empty bank accounts.  Most of the accounts are left over from government grants that have been completed and the money used up.  Each empty account is charging the government $5.95 a month to remain open.  That means that it costs us $81,586.40 a month to maintain empty bank accounts.  By the end of a year, the total cost is $979,036.80, or just under $1 million.  The New York USO offices could really use that $979,036.80 in their efforts to keep Fleet Week alive for our troops.

The federal government is wasting more money than it would cost them to hold the annual Fleet week celebration, but Obama would rather play politics than show our service men and women how much they are appreciated.

Again, if you would like to help the USO effort to keep Fleet Week alive, click here to make a donation and read the messages below.

“Fellow Patriot,

Please see this important message below from my friend Medal of Honor Recipient Jack Jacobs and the USO.

Due to Sequestration, Fleet Week and many other Memorial Day activities have been cancelled. Please read Jack’s message about how the USO’s attitude towards the cancellation of these activities is “Not on Our Watch”. In New York, the New York Mets have stepped up to the plate and will be bringing over 1,000 service members and their families to the 26 May Military Appreciation Day game. They have hit a home run in my book!

Please stand shoulder to shoulder with Medal of Honor Recipient Jack Jacobs and show your support for all of those who have served and are still serving.

Thank you and God Bless,

Steve Castleton

Parent of 3 Active Duty Soldiers

Liberty Alliance Advisory Board Member (Liberty Alliance is a Proud Sponsor of these Events)

______________________________________________________________________

Dear USO Supporter,

Fleet Week has provided a unique opportunity for citizens of the tri-state area to express our appreciation to the members of the Sea Services – Navy, Marines and Coast Guard – for their bravery, service and sacrifice and witness first-hand the capabilities of our Armed Forces.

Despite its overwhelming popularity among both civilians and the military, Fleet Week now faces an uncertain future. The headline in The Wall Street Journal last week was succinct and ominous:

FLEET WEEK FUNDS DRY UP

The article revealed that as a result of sequestration, the Pentagon has decreed that “no branch of the Armed Forces can participate in community events that come at an additional cost.”

So I write today to ask: “Will we allow this opportunity to demonstrate America’s support of our men and women in uniform pass us by?”

Not on our watch! The USO will be going all-out to keep the spirit of Fleet Week alive and to make our military appreciation and Memorial Day events better than ever before. Although the sequester has created a large gap to close, with YOUR help – we can do it!

NYC doesn’t need an official Fleet Week to remind us that it is as important as ever to support our troops and their families — 75,000 of whom work or live in the tri-state area.

Dozens of activities and parades will still take place throughout the week, leading into and beyond Memorial Day weekend. The USO will be holding concerts for military personnel and their families, handing out complimentary and discounted tickets to shows and sporting events, sponsoring Hot Dog carts as well as supplying food and manning Visitor Information Booths at several locations throughout the city. We’ve scheduled a number of family appreciation events – ice cream socials, pizza parties and barbecues. Our USO Centers at Ft. Hamilton and in Times Square will be open extended hours to serve our military visitors. And our very own USO Show Troupe will perform at numerous events throughout the week.

And that is why we’re asking you to show your support for the troops. Your tax-deductible donation will help the USO make these military appreciation activities possible and a memorable experience for all participants.

Please give as generously as you can.

Colonel Jack Jacobs, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Medal of Honor Recipient”