Michigan National Guard troops deployed to the U.S. Capitol have been fed raw chicken and dishes with metal shavings, a Detroit TV station reports.
The meals sent scores of soldiers to sick call and prompted the Army to change the menu from hot food to packaged meals ready to eat (MREs).
A catering company’s breakfast was so skimpy the Guardsmen were served only a dinner roll and fruit juice. Some are buying their own meals.
The report comes as a number of Republicans have called on President Biden to end the post-Jan. 6 riot deployment, deeming the activation as not needed at this point.
“Soldiers from the Michigan National Guard who are protecting the US. Capitol in D.C. have been fed undercooked and underwhelming meals,” tweeted WXYX 7 Action News reporter Brian Abel. “One Staff Sgt tells me that metal fragments were found in meals on Sunday.”
The TV station said its report prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to call up acting Army Secretary John E. Whitley at the Pentagon.
And Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Democrat, sent a letter on Monday to Mr. Whitley.
“I write to convey my disappointment and frustration regarding the inadequate food and meal procurement for the Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard currently protecting the Capitol building and the wider National Capital Region,” Mr. Peters wrote.
“It has come to light that Guard Soldiers and Airmen are receiving undercooked unsanitary and inadequate meals provided through private catering companies,” he said.
The Michigan National Guard headquarters released a statement calling the botched meals “very concerning.”
“The firsthand accounts and pictures of undercooked food being served clearly shows that what is being given to Michigan’s Service members is unacceptable,” the Guard said.
The Pentagon plans to keep 7,000 Guard troops in D.C. through March 12, then pull back to 5,000.