L.A. Lorek of the San Antonio Express-News used federal contracts data to examine the largest military contractors in San Antonio. Lorek found the Pentagon's reliance on private companies has let to a boom for local businesses who "provide everything from oil and food to aircraft parts and weapons research." In 2003, the top 20 contractors received $2.5 billion worth of contracts, making San Antonio the second-largest military contracting city in Texas. That money went toward making canteen covers, ammunition vests, aluminum cots; meals ready to eat; developing software, building and maintaining aircraft. (Editor's Note: The Federal Procurement Data System is available to journalists from IRE and NICAR.)
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