Dozens of the National Guard troops protecting Congress have been made ill by bad food, Michigan lawmakers say. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was among those demanding answers after a whistleblower told WXYZ earlier this week that many soldiers had been served meals with raw or undercooked meat, and 74 meals were thrown out Sunday because they had metal shavings in them. The staff sergeant said soldiers had been spending their own money on food because of the inedible meals they were given. All 14 members of Michigan's House delegation signed a letter Tuesday calling the situation "completely unacceptable" and asking the National Guard to either cancel the food supplier's contract or give the Guard members a per diem for the rest of their deployment.
"The members of the National Guard have served honorably throughout the duration of this operation," the lawmakers wrote. "We must never turn our backs on our soldiers, especially as they have demonstrated time and time again that haven't turned our backs on us." The Michigan National Guard accounts for around 1,000 of the 5,200 troops guarding the Capitol. "It's not only a Michigan guard problem. I stop and talk to all the guard out there, and they said it’s improved, but still far from perfect," Rep. Debbie Dingell tells the Detroit News. On Wednesday, National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Robert N. Carver denied reports that Guard members had been hospitalized due to bad food, but said around 50 had been treated for gastrointestinal complaints, the Hill reports. (Read more National Guard stories.)