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VMI Mother: “Cadets at The Virginia Military Institute Often Go Hungry”

The single cafeteria VMI cadets dine from regularly runs out of food, depriving them of basic needs in an extremely demanding setting. Cadets privately question the integrity of the VMI leadership, because the volume of food available when parents are on post is very different then what they experience on a daily basis.

An extremely angry mother (Jacqueline Hart) informed the head of the VMI board of visitors, Tom Watjen, last week that she was taking the political gloves off. She claims cadets are still going hungry, after repeated requests by parents to resolve the problems they are experiencing in the singular post cafeteria (covered by board fees). Cadets continue to report to parents that they run out of adequate food before all cadets can eat.

Advocating for other parents who want to remain anonymous because they fear their cadets will be retaliated against, she has been working to resolve the problems that became severe a year ago, when a schedule change replaced the dedicated lunch hour with a dedicated training hour for topics like DEI. Parents have reached out to Hart repeatedly about their struggling cadets, since she gained attention on social media in the ongoing fight against DEI at VMI.

In a follow up email to the marketing director, she warned that she would go to the press if she did not get immediate answers and a resolution plan, while providing additional cadet quotes to prove that the problem is extreme:

“A 6’2″ rat who has just had a mandatory 2 hour workout, gets to Crozet, (the name of the dining hall) and literally gets a plate of spinach because all of the protein is gone… and is expected to wake up the following morning and physically perform is totally asinine and yet it happens regularly.”

“Whatever any of the administration has told parents or visitors about the food issues getting fixed is completely lying. Cadets are regularly sick or hungry from food on post.”

A coach she spoke with said cadets were coming to sports practice so hungry last year, that he was bringing them granola bars to help – and, a cadet wrote an article in the Cadet Paper titled, “Hungry, Hungry Cadets,” confirming that a substantial number of cadets could not access lunch.

There is absolutely no reason that an institution with the funds that VMI has thrown around for wasteful political agendas- like DEI classes- should be depriving the students of basic nutritional sustenance,“ Ms. Hart said to Bill Wyatt, VMI’s marketing and communications director, after learning there were still ongoing problems this year.

In her email to the VMI Board of Visitors president and superintendent, she told them:

“I met with the mother of a VMI 2nd class cadet recently, who informed me that the underlying theme of the Ring Figure Breakfast, that cadets uttered to each other under their breath, was, ‘see the lie? ‘They were astounded at how plentiful the food was to impress the parents and viscerally angry about how it contrasted with the reality they experience each day. The message? Our leaders are liars.”

Last year one mother emailed her information on prisoner of war torture tactics to demonstrate the similarities to the food deprivation and psychological conditioning in DEI training that cadets were receiving.

It is estimated that the school has spent approximately $500,000 – $750,000 on DEI initiatives, which have resulted in severe backlash from parents and alumni. In the fall, Hart, a U.S. Air Force veteran, called for the firing of the board president, the superintendent, and the Chief Diversity Officer for paying a LGBTQ speaker (Kimberly Dark, author of The Daddies) that performs at sex kink shows to speak in the Hall of Valor.

Ms. Hart contacted the Virginia Office of the Inspector General last spring about fraud, as it relates to parents being charged for board (food) their cadets were not receiving, since VMI receives federal funds to provide board to cadets.

They chose not to investigate, citing the issue was an operational decision by the Institute. Neither the Board of Visitors president, Tom Watjen, nor the VMI Superintendent, Major General (ret.) Wins have responded to Ms. Hart as of the date this infioirmation was received via press release. Wins has come under fire recently for the 25% drop in matriculation that occurred this past fall.

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