Concerns about defense cuts continue on and around Ft. Bragg - WNCT

Concerns about defense cuts continue on and around Fort Bragg

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SPRING LAKE, N.C. -

A gloomy message from U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has more people at Fort Bragg worried about the future. Secretary Hagel said a dark cloud hangs over the future of Fort Bragg and the military in general.

That message has the women at Kenya's Creations Salon in Spring Lake worried. A lot of their business depends on people with connections to Fort Bragg.

"90 percent of our clients are government, military, stuff like that," said hairdresser Latoya Mack.

During a visit to Fort Bragg on Monday, Hagel said that more furloughs for civilian workers and deeper military cuts may be coming.

Mack said the furloughs are already affecting her clients.

"Financially they're having to make cutbacks, luxury cutbacks, like for them that means their hair, beauty and stuff like that," Mack said.

Hagel didn't offer much optimism about the future. In fact he said he is not sure when budget cuts will end.

"With someone that high up not knowing exactly when, who would be the one to let us know?" hairdresser Shavon Brown asked. "For him to say he's not exactly sure it's kind of scary."

They say the longer it takes, the more worried they will get about their business.

At the Fort Bragg office of Fayetteville Technical Community College, the director is also seeing some soldiers and civilians worried about uncertain futures. He said some are working to figure out alternatives if the cuts continue.

"They want to make sure their files are competitive," explained Billy Buckner. "One of the ways in which they can do that is by making sure they have the appropriate education levels as they continue to advance throughout their career."

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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