Once again, the big money goes for the fancy weapons, while the troops carry old rifles.
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. ― The USS Gerald R. Ford, the new aircraft carrier President Donald Trump praised recently, is costing some $13 billion to build. That doesn’t count the airplanes. It’s the most expensive naval vessel in history, and it will fit easily into the “massive” military buildup Trump has demanded.
But at Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps base where the working-class military lives, trains and deploys, there’s not enough money for Cpl. Edward L. Kiser, an anti-tank gunner, to train properly. Kiser, a 20-year-old from Butler, Pennsylvania, needs to be proficient at firing TOW missiles in the desperate heat of battle to kill enemy tanks about to overrun his position. “I’ve been in the Marine Corps two years, and I’ve only shot the thing one time,” said Kiser.