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Short Title:     Military Community Grant Funds.



Representatives Lucas, Dickson, Glazier (Primary Sponsors); and Wainwright.

Referred to:

Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs, if favorable, Appropriations.

March 29, 2007


AN ACT appropriating funds to the department of administration to provide grants to military communities.

Whereas, North Carolina has the fourth-largest military presence of any state in the United States; and

Whereas, Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base are considered America's Rapid Reaction forces and Strategic Power Projection capability with Army Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division, which are the first to be called and respond to contingencies worldwide; and

Whereas, Camp LeJeune is one of the largest Marine bases in the country and is instrumental in supporting military operations around the world; and

Whereas, Seymour Johnson trains and deploys the Air Force's deep air strike capability with F-15E aircraft; and

Whereas, Cherry Point Naval Air Station trains and deploys Marine air strike capability; and

Whereas, these forces are instrumental to our nation's defense and to the strategic military capability of our nation; and

Whereas, the War on Terrorism and military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have resulted in extensive deployments for the men and women in our military, especially from our military installations in North Carolina; and

Whereas, every brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division has deployed numerous times in the past three years, and in all, more than 136,000 service members from our State's military installations have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some units will serve a full year in Iraq, return to Fort Bragg for a few months and redeploy for another combat tour; and 

Whereas, this high operational tempo and constant deployments, combined with injuries, deaths, and the physical and psychological effects of combat on military members and their families who reside in our State has resulted in a very stressful environment, and in many cases created hardships for our military families and communities; and

Whereas, the incidences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental health problems are on the rise within military families when soldiers return home, which affects families and communities; and

Whereas, when our service men and women are deployed, military families must cope with financial hardships, as well as challenges and disruptions to their normal family lives; and

Whereas, the family support provided by military units and installations is in many cases insufficient to prevent the severe stress associated with deployments and the possible loss of loved ones; and

Whereas, many young parents are not equipped or prepared to handle the financial and physical hardships; and

Whereas, there is a need for additional support from the State; and

Whereas, North Carolina is very proud of our men and women that serve in our Armed Forces and feel that we, as a State, have a responsibility to support our military and their families; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Administration the sum of twenty-six million dollars ($26,000,000) for the 2007-2008 fiscal year to provide grants to military communities in North Carolina to help those communities address the hardships that have arisen as a result of the War on Terrorism and military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective July 1, 2007.