It was hard to wrap my head around. I was staring at an enormous field, packed with bomber planes, fighter jets and missiles. Every kind of aircraft imaginable, lined up with cornrow precision, as far as the eye can see.
My first thought was, we’re preparing for war.
Turns out it’s just the final resting place for the largest collection of retired aircraft in the world. Just south of Tucson, hidden in plain sight, ‘the Boneyard’ is a military graveyard. In their prime, these 4,000 shining warriors were the bastions of American ingenuity. Now, they’re just an artistic display of scrap metal.
But the Boneyard represents a much bigger concern.
Here’s my take. Seeing thousands of aviation giants, frozen in time, is impressive. The sheer magnitude is overwhelming. But let’s poke the elephant in the room.
The Boneyard is a tragic example of American bloat.
It’s a symbol of our country’s skewed priorities, poor planning and excessive waste. Our best strategy is to abandon thousands of planes in the boonies, and let them decay.
America can blow up the world many times over. We have more firepower than the next 10 countries combined. Yet, somehow there’s an open checkbook for more gear. Most people don’t realize that half of our tax dollars go to funding the military.
This isn’t a criticism of the men and women who serve. But, we’ve wasted trillions to fund this field of rusting war planes. Instead of stockpiling hardware, our tax dollars could’ve paid for free healthcare, quality education and a repaired infrastructure.
So, now you know why they call it the Boneyard. We paid for this boondoggle – and got boned.