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Scaled Back Fourth of July Celebration

10:14 PM, Jun 14, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -The sequester has forced military bases around the midlands to have furlough days for civilian employees.

Cuts to the budget has also forced places like Shaw Air Force Base to cancel their Fourth of July celebration. 

Now, an annual celebration at Ft. Jackson is being scaled back.

"Depending upon the year it has been between 20-30,000 people showing up," said Pat Jones with Ft. Jackson.

The Torchlight Tattoo is one of the palmetto state's premiere Fourth of July celebrations.  According to Pat Jones with Ft. Jackson this year there will be a little less.

"We are not going to be spending any tax dollars at all."

It's a prime example of how budget cuts have affected Ft. Jackson.

The annual Torchlight Tattoo where there's a 50 cannon salute to every state is a no go for the base.  There will also be limited entertainment.

"Having the band come out and play for us doesn't cost us anything, they are soldiers and therefore they are here anyway. "

"This is all being funded by our family, morale, welfare and recreation directorate and they are self sustaining."

For some bases like Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, the cuts have forced them to cancel their event.

Jones says they are just happy to still be able to provide a celebration for families to enjoy.

But the cuts are hitting Ft. Jackson in another way... Starting in July civilian employees have to take a furlough day every week until September.

"Two days a pay period and it will start July 8th and run and it will end on the fiscal year which ends on September 30th. "

As the bases struggles to deal with these cuts, they just hope a solution is near.

"We are in hopes that it doesn't go past the fiscal year because that's when the new budget starts."

As for the furlough days, Jones says the base will run like normal.

The fourth of July celebration will be at Hilton field on the base at 9PM.  There is no charge to attend the event. 

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