Showing posts with label Fort Meade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort Meade. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

64% of Military families want out of base poor housing

Most Army Families Say They'd Move Off-Base If They Could to Escape Poor Housing
By Richard Sisk
9 Sep 2019

A large majority (64%) of Army military families would move off base if they could afford it to escape poor housing conditions, a lack of oversight by commanders, and the petty harassment of private housing managers, according to a report published Sept. 5 by the office of the Army Inspector General.
Fort Meade housing. Army photo

At 48 of 49 installations surveyed by the IG, residents in privatized housing cited concerns with "environmental" issues, including mold, lead-based paint, asbestos, water quality, open sewage and radon gas, the report states.

Families who complained to property managers said they often faced retaliation, reprisals and petty harassment from the private management companies, according to the report.

"Examples from residents included additional move-out fees, fines due to yard maintenance or other discrepancies, and threats to call or involve the chain of command in various issues," IG investigators wrote. "In each case, residents described these types of actions immediately or shortly following a negative encounter with the private companies/property management team."
read it here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fort Meade-Based Black Hills Veterans Claims Found in Dumpster

From 1993 to 1999 we had to fight to have my husband's claim approved. It was bad back then when no reporters cared. By the time his claim was approved, we knew there were many, many more it was happening to. It ended up getting worse.

This report came out in 2008 when it was taking 2 to 3 years for an original claim and 4 years for an appeal.
Richardo (Rick) F. Randle, director of Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs, was the guest speaker at the April 19 meeting of the Lower Alabama Veterans Alliance Saturday at Ryan’s in Enterprise. Randle told the filled-to- capacity crowd of LAVA members and guests that staffing is a critical issue with the department, and until more resources become available, staffing will remain a problem. “We are doing the best we can with the resources available to us,” said Randle. “Since 2006, the number of claims has grown 15 percent. The amount of time it takes to make decisions on disability claims is two to three year. On an average, it takes four years to get an appeals decision.”
Later in 2008, part of the reason was clear, the GAO found no accountability and it was taking 2 years to train new VA claims processors.
VA officials said it takes at least two years to properly train disability claims employees, and they must complete 80 hours of training a year. New employees have three weeks of intense classroom training before they begin several months of on-the-job training at their home offices. But “because the agency has no policy outlining consequences for individual staff who do not complete their 80 hours of training per year, individual staff are not held accountable for meeting their annual training requirement,” the GAO found. “And, at present, VBA central office lacks the ability to track training completed by individual staff members.”
THE HOUSE OF Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved legislation in March that would increase the VA budget by $3.2 billion, which is more than what the Administration offered in February. According to the June issue of DAV magazine, this move could set the VA’s total budget at $93.6 billion for 2009, indicating a $5.22 billion increase from this year.
As of March, the VA reported 879,291 claims were in backlog from the same time last year.
And claims were being shredded with numbers being "fudged" as employees lost their jobs, but members of Congress with jurisdiction over the VA kept their jobs.
The first heads have begun to roll in this investigation. During the week of October 6, 2008, four employees at the New York VARO, including the Director, were placed on administrative leave. More accurately, they were removed from their positions awaiting the outcome of the investigation. Sources close to this investigation say that those removed, and others, were found to have been fudging the "timeliness" figures. And, there are allegations that documents, including paperwork essential to the claim process had been destroyed.
November 13, 2008 - A high-ranking U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs administrator from Guilderland has been placed on paid leave in the wake of an investigation into his office.

Joseph Collorafi was suspended last month as chief of veterans affairs at the New York City regional VA office, said Keith Thompson, acting director of the office.

The investigation revealed that someone in the regional office intentionally entered claim documents from veterans with incorrect dates — called "backdating" — into an internal database, VA spokeswoman Alison Aikele said Wednesday.

All that was followed by this piece of news in March of 2009
VA officials acknowledge further credibility problems based on a new report of a previously undisclosed 2007 incident in which workers at a Detroit regional office turned in 16,000 pieces of unprocessed mail and 717 documents turned up in New York in December during amnesty periods in which workers were promised no one would be penalized.

By June it was worse
Crisis at the VA as Benefits Claims Backlog Nearly Tops One Million
Monday, 01 June 2009
By Jason Leopold

During the past four months, the Department of Veterans Affairs backlog of unfinished disability claims from grew by more than 100,000, adding to an already mountainous backlog that is now close to topping one million.

The VA's claims backlog, which includes all benefits claims and all appeals at the Veterans Benefits Administration and the Board of Veterans Appeals at VA, was 803,000 on Jan. 5, 2009. The backlog hit 915,000 on May 4, 2009, a staggering 14 percent increase in four months.

The issue has become so dire that veterans now wait an average of six months to receive disability benefits and as long as four years for their appeals to be heard in cases where their benefits were denied.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said during a hearing in March that the VA is “almost criminally behind in processing claims.”

So, as we've seen, everything old is new again to those not paying attention all along.
Files of 1,100 veterans thrown in dumpster at Hot Springs VA
Rapid City Journal
Seth Tupper Journal staff
July 31, 2015

More embarrassment struck the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs Friday when it was revealed that files containing personal information on 1,100 military veterans were mistakenly thrown out with the garbage.

Someone tossed a box containing the files into a dumpster on Friday, May 15, during an office move at the Hot Springs campus of the VA Black Hills Health Care System. A different employee noticed the box and files in the dumpster Sunday, May 17, and the items were retrieved and secured by Veterans Affairs police.

The Fort Meade-based Black Hills system, which serves 19,000 veterans residing in South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, announced the dumpster blunder Friday in a news release. The release did not divulge the number of veterans affected; that information emerged during a Journal interview Friday with Teresa Forbes, public affairs officer for the VA Black Hills.

She said an investigation was conducted, but it did not determine which employee was at fault.

“The investigation found that during a regular office move, that the box of files were inadvertently thrown in the receptacle,” Forbes said. “It was just an unfortunate mistake during an office move.”
Read more here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Army May Cut 3,400 Contractors

Army Could Cut 3,400 Contractor Jobs at Three Bases
by Richard Sisk
Jun 15, 2015

About 3,400 Army contract workers would lose their jobs in food services, supply and shipment of household goods at stateside bases if Congress fails to ease the budget shortfall in current negotiations on the defense bill.

In a statement issued late last Friday, the Army said the impact of the job losses at base Logistical Readiness Centers (LRCs) would be felt first at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Fort Meade, Md.

The Army's 73 stateside LRCs manage food services, ammunition supply, clothing issue, bulk fuel, and the shipment of personal property and household goods.

The LRCs come under the Army's Materiel Command, based in Huntsville, Ala.

Kim Hanson, a spokeswoman for the Materiel Command, said that the job losses could result in the closure of dining facilities or limited hours at the facilities, and delays in the shipment of household goods.
read more here

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fort Meade NSA Police Officer Hospitalized After Strange Event

One shot dead at Fort Meade after trying to enter NSA gate 
By Jim Sciutto, Evan Perez and Ashley Fantz
March 31, 2015
Story highlights Two people tried to enter the main gate to enter the headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade. One died at the scene, and another was wounded, the NSA says.
(CNN)The FBI publicly identified Tuesday the man who died Monday while trying to use an unauthorized vehicle tried to gain access to the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Maryland, as Ricky Shawatza Hall.

His passenger who remained hospitalized Tuesday has not been publicly identified. On Monday morning, Hall attempted to gain entry at the National Security Agency headquarters, Jonathan Freed, NSA director of strategic communications, said in a statement.

"The driver failed to obey an NSA Police officer's routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus. The vehicle failed to stop and barriers were deployed." NSA police on the scene fired on the vehicle when it accelerated toward a police car, blocking its way, according to the NSA.

An NSA police officer was also hospitalized but not identified.
The two men who officials say tried to ram the main gate at NSA headquarters were dressed as women, according to a federal law enforcement official.

read more here

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dilemma of Sharing or Suppressing News

Lunchtime at work today I had a dilemma. I talked to a couple of friends about posting how there seems to be an increase in soldiers charged with crimes, especially this morning. I couldn't decide to post them or just avoid them.

One of my friends said that operating a news site like this would mean I was suppressing news instead of covering it.

I thought about it for a while and then remembered other stories I just wanted to ignore. One of them is Dakota Meyer stories that have come out over the last few days. (It pains me to put these up)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Bristol Palin says she is engaged to Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.
The daughter of former Alaska governor and former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said in a blog post Saturday that Meyer came to Alaska to film the "Amazing America" reality show with her mother last year. She says Meyer is wonderful with her son Tripp.

'That's just how we roll': Bristol Palin's Medal of Honor fiance defends playing with an infant as gun sits feet away on table
In an Instagram photo posted to his account, former Marine Dakota Meyer can be seen playing with an infant as a gun sits next to them
When someone pointed this out on his post, he joked 'that's just how we roll, haha'
Meyer, one of the youngest Medal of Honor recipients in American history, has a large number of posts showing him with guns on social media
One shows a sign he was gifted by friends that reads 'I Don't Call 911' with two pistols on either side In Kentucky, where Meyer is from, no permit is needed to buy a handgun and the weapons can be carried anywhere as long as they aren't concealed
The same is true in Alaska, where Meyer's new fiance Bristol Palin lives with her son Tripp
The Daily Mail By CHRIS SPARGO 20 March 2015

U.S. Air Force Veteran, Charged With Trying to Join ISIS

Anyway those are some of the stories I avoided posting on. 

These are the ones that troubled me the most.

Fort Meade-based Army Spc. is charged in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and statutory sexual assault.

A soldier with Joint Base Lewis McChord is facing charges after he allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl, Grays Harbor Sheriff's deputies said.

A Fort Bragg soldier is facing multiple child sex charges, the Hoke County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska — Soldiers in a unit in Alaska have a “tradition” of allowing racial slurs to be used freely on “Racial Thursdays,” a soldier told the Army Times. "When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do 'Racial Thursdays' because it's been a tradition," the soldier, a staff sergeant, told the Times. "It's something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said no, but the (expletive) is still going on."

All of them just came out. Names omitted for Soldiers charged with crimes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Army Reserve training to stop suicides with program that already failed

There is nothing the military is doing that has not been done and failed before. They can do all the meetings, training and Power Points they want but if they are still not even explaining to the troops why they have PTSD, they will keep failing. The programs have been pushed for years even though suicides within the military went up as well as among the veteran population.
News: Army Reserve Soldiers come together to learn how to save lives
200th Military Police Command
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell
July 16, 2014

FORT MEADE, Md. – Army Reserve Soldiers from the 200th Military Police Command and other major Reserve commands took time away from their military and civilian jobs to learn a skill that could save lives.

Twenty-five Soldiers, dressed in business casual, sat in a small room surrounded by large paper taped to the walls covered in words and phrases as a result of several group brainstorming activities during a week-long Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course recently.

After completion of the course, Soldiers were qualified to teach the two-day ASIST course to Army Soldiers and civilians.

Brig. Gen. Phillip Churn, the commanding general of the 200th Military Police Command, took several minutes to talk with the course participants and expressed the importance of the program for active duty, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve Soldiers.

“This program is one of my top priorities,” he said. “We must give our Soldiers the proper education and resources to help our 200th MPCOM families. Some of us may only wear the uniform one weekend a month, but they are our family 365 days a year.”

Churn, who commands more than 14,000 Soldiers and the largest military police organization in the Army, said suicide prevention and saving lives is a critical mission for every Soldier.

“We must help our families who live in 44 states, and it starts right here in the classroom,” he said.

“The information you are receiving today is critical for laying the foundation of a healthy Army Reserve family.”

ASIST is required by the Army for all personnel whose duties are likely to bring them in contact with Soldiers, civilians and family members who are in crisis, said David Dummer, the command’s suicide prevention program manager.
read more here

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fort Meade Soldier from Florida found dead

Fort Meade officials identify soldier found dead in Laurel home
Homicide investigation ongoing after Sutton discovered with 'obvious signs of trauma'
The Baltimore Sun
By Colin Campbell
December 16, 2013

Fort Meade officials identified the man who was found dead in his Laurel home on Friday as Johnnie Sutton III, 38, a sergeant first class from Florida.

Sutton, who had served in the Army since 1994, was found in his home in the 8300 block of Frostwood Dr. around 10:30 a.m. "with obvious signs of trauma to the upper body," according to an Anne Arundel County police news release. Police are classifying his death as suspicious, and a homicide investigation is ongoing.

Investigators are awaiting an autopsy by the medical examiner's office to determine cause of death.
read more here

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PFC. Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Secrets

Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Secrets
ABC News
Aug. 21, 2013

FT. MEADE, Md. -- Bradley Manning, the Army private convicted of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison today.

Pfc. Manning will also be reduced in rank to private, forfeit all pay and allowances and receive a dishonorable discharge.

Manning expressed no emotion as a military judge announced the sentence. He was then quickly escorted out of the courtroom.

He will serve his prison sentence at the military's detention facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
read more here

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pfc. Bradley Manning faces up to 136 years in prison

Manning Faces Upward of 136 Years in Jail
by Michael Hoffman
Jul 31, 2013

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will return to a military courtroom Wednesday facing up to 136 years in jail after he was convicted of espionage charges Tuesday. However, he will not face life in jail without parole after the judge acquitted him of aiding the enemy -- the most serious of the 21 charges.

Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs told supporters at Fort Meade, Md., after the verdict was read that “we won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” referring to the sentencing phase of the trial.

Unlike most civilian courts, sentencing hearings typically start immediately following a verdict in a court-martial. Military lawyers who have watched this case told that plenty is yet to be determined in terms of Manning’s fate and the precedent that will be set by this case.

Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge in the case, convicted Manning on 19 of 21 charges, including espionage and theft three years after Manning handed over classified information to WikiLeaks, a website founded by Julian Assange. WikiLeaks then posted the information on the Internet.

Manning collected and distributed to the website more than 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables, as well as a video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq. The pilots in the film referred to the targets as “dead bastards.”
read more here

Friday, June 28, 2013

Morale in Manning's unit suffered

Commander: Morale in Manning's unit suffered
Associated Press
Jun 28, 1:35 PM EDT

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- Pfc. Bradley Manning's former commander in Iraq says he was stunned and morale among his troops "took a hit" after they learned Manning was suspected of leaking classified documents.

"The last thing I anticipated was an internal security breach from one of our own," Col. David Miller said Friday as the fourth week of Manning's court-martial drew to a close.

"My read of my staff at that time was it was like a funeral-like atmosphere fell over that crowd," said Miller, commander of the brigade in which Manning served as an intelligence analyst in 2010 in Iraq. "That's the best way I would describe it - they were angry, sad ... frustrated all at the same time."

Manning's fellow troops collectively felt the allegations were a blemish on the otherwise good work they'd done in the war zone, Miller said.
read more here

Monday, June 10, 2013

Osama Bin Laden Raid Member Has Traumatic Brain Injury

Osama Bin Laden Raid Member Has Traumatic Brain Injury
Huffington Post
Matt Siedge
Posted: 06/10/2013

FORT MEADE, Md. -- As the trial of Bradley Manning entered its fourth day on Monday, a filing from one potential prosecution witness revealed a startling fact: One of the members of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound has had memory loss stemming from traumatic brain injuries.

Government prosecutors may call the raid member, identified only as "John Doe," to prove that files released by Manning to WikiLeaks wound up in bin Laden's possession. The filing was made on April 29 and released to the public on June 4.

The raid member, presumably a Navy SEAL, says they have "occasional short-term memory deficiencies" that include forgetting "where I placed my car keys." Those memory issues started "two to three years ago," apparently before the bin Laden raid, according to the filing.

The cause: "repetitive (traumatic brain injury), but not major trauma. I had consistent small doses over time."
read more here

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Record high suicide rate prompts Army-wide initiative, again

Army pauses operations for mandatory suicide prevention training
Record high suicide rate prompts Army-wide initiative
By Erin Cox
The Baltimore Sun
September 26, 2012

At Fort Meade, where the suicide rate among service members is six times higher than that of the entire state, a crowd of 75 soldiers offered mostly silence when Mark Fisher asked them to list potential warning signs that a colleague is about to take his or her own life.

Col. John B. Wells, commander of the U.S. Army Claims Service at Fort Meade, listens to mandatory suicide prevention training in the Post Theater on base. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna / September 26, 2012)

"The only way we're going to attack suicides is to talk about it," Fisher urged them.

"We have to get it. And this is the only way."

Fort Meade's mandatory suicide prevention training Wednesday was part of an Army-wide initiative undertaken as the military branch is on pace to reach its highest-ever suicide rate. The number of suicides each year has nearly doubled since 2005, from 87 to 165 last year. And the number of monthly suicides doubled from June to July — when suicides outpaced combat deaths of active-duty soldiers.

Aberdeen Proving Ground will hold its "stand down" training Thursday as military installations around the globe temporarily halt operations to focus on suicide prevention.

"Out of 365 days of the year, we're taking a day that was otherwise devoted to something else and saying: That's not as important as this," Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III said in a conference call.

"The nation has asked our soldiers to carry a heavy load over the past 11 years, and they have not let us down. But suicide is an enemy we have yet to beat."

At the current pace, the Army's suicide rate would be its highest yet at 29 deaths per 100,000 people this year. Fort Meade saw six suicides within the past 12 months among its military population of 11,600 people, base spokeswoman Mary Doyle said. Based on those numbers, the rate for Fort Meade would be more than 50 per 100,000 people.
read more here

DOD condescending attitude kills suicide prevention

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Marine found dead at Fort Meade

Military investigating local Marine's death
May 25, 2012
Molly McGowan

The military is investigating the death of a Marine from Burlington found dead in his barracks at Fort George G. Meade, Md. on Wednesday afternoon.

Pvt. Anthony Romanocaruso, 19, had been attending Defense Information School since Feb. 22, said Col. Sean Gibson, public affairs officer of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. Gibson released Romanocaruso’s name Friday morning. A news release sent Thursday said the Marine had been found dead in his barracks room Wednesday, and Fort Meade Fire and Emergency teams responded to the call. Romanocaruso was pronounced dead at the scene.
read more here

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nonprofit putting wounded from Fort Meade to work

Nonprofit to hire 48 wounded vets
By BEN WEATHERS Staff Writer
Published 04/27/11
The nonprofit group that takes over a multimillion-dollar contract for maintenance services at Fort George G. Meade this summer expects to hire up to 170 people.

While Upper Marlboro-based Melwood may hire many of the men and woman now working for the outgoing contractor, it is looking to add 48 people with special qualifications - veterans wounded in the service of their country.

Melwood CEO Janice Frey-Angel said her group is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training to identify potential candidates. Candidates may have cognitive, mental health and physical disabilities, as well as brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The group also is recruiting the 200 soldiers in Fort Meade's Warrior in Transition unit, which helps servicemen and women return to civilian life, said Fort Meade spokeswoman Mary Doyle.

"Being able to provide veterans with jobs has been one of Melwood's missions," Frey-Angel said. "Being on base, it's a familiar (environment for them) - it's not like taking them out of their comfort zone. In many ways, it gives us the opportunity … to do our job, meet our mission and also help the country."

read more here
Nonprofit to hire 48 wounded vets

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fishing Event Aims to Mend Those Who've Served

Event Aims to Mend Those Who've Served
'This Day Is Worth Living,' Veteran Says

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sixty-seven days after brain surgery, Staff Sgt. Dave Love was out on the Potomac, fishing for bass on a beautiful afternoon.

He and more than 90 other wounded warriors participated in the Army vs. Marines Spring Bass Challenge yesterday at Smallwood State Park in Marbury. The event was a welcome change of scene for men whose days can be a blur of doctor visits and who are often tormented at night by post-traumatic stress.

"This day is worth living," said Love, a 32-year Army National Guard veteran who suffered brain trauma from roadside bombs during four years in Iraq. "This is what life is about."

The service members were paired with tournament-level anglers, each of whom brought a boat and tackle. A few service members walked with canes, and one or two used wheelchairs. Most of the disabled service members were stationed at Fort Meade or Fort Belvoir or recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Tournament director Ken Kirk turned to bass fishing a decade ago after post-traumatic stress disorder brought him low.

"The next thing you know, no more headaches, no more nothing," he said. "If I can help one individual, if I can turn his light bulb on and help him recover, then we've accomplished what we set out to do."
go here for more
Event Aims to Mend Those Who Have Served

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wounded Warriors enjoy hunting and fishing trip with Mattaponi Hunt Club

Wounded warriors relish a chance to enjoy outdoors

Ken Perrotte's outdoor column
Date published: 12/11/2008

THE MEN piling out of the trucks at the Upper Caroline Fire Station Saturday clearly weren't your garden-variety hunt club members.

While military surplus camouflaged uniforms have been popular hunting wear for years, many of these guys were sporting the newer Army Combat Uniforms with a computer-generated pattern.

It was almost as though a small army was pouring in from the field to the massive buffet waiting inside. Twenty-one wounded warriors from the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Meade, Md., accompanied by nearly 50 members of the host Mattaponi Hunt Club, filed in to join the many members of the fire station, spouses and special guests.

Smiles abounded and stories of the hunt were eagerly recounted, especially tales of the big ones that got away by slipping through slight gaps between the guest hunters, despite the beagles' best efforts.

Hunt club Vice President J.T. Harrell said planning for the hunt began nearly two months ago following a September wounded-warrior fishing event on Lake Anna. A nearly 1,000-acre tract of land was lightly hunted only during bow and early muzzleloader season, resting it for the wounded warriors.

Capt. (Chaplain) Jeremiah Catlin was the Fort Meade group's leader, himself recovering from a severely damaged right shoulder following lengthy surgery for cancer. He explained that the top 20 finishers in the bass tourney won the rights to return for this deer hunt.

Catlin said the fishing tournament brought enduring, broad smiles to the faces of men no one had observed smiling much recently.

Harrell said once word of the hunt got out, unsolicited donations poured in, including food, funds for licenses, cabins at the KOA campground and processing of the deer. Staff Sgt. Jason Wood, a WTU squad leader, said: "I can't believe all the trouble people went to for this. I wasn't expecting this much."

After the post-hunt buffet, Fire Chief Steve Parrish presented the soldiers with certificates making them honorary life members of the volunteer fire department. They also received one-year memberships with the American Legion's Spotsylvania Post 320.

click link above for more

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Army barracks "better than sleeping in the woods"

Report: Thousands living in shoddy barracks
By Kristin M. Hall - The Associated PressPosted : Thursday May 8, 2008 12:08:47 EDT

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Spc. Kaila Colvin is looking forward to getting married for the usual reasons, and for one more particular to a soldier: not having to live in Fort Campbell’s decrepit barracks anymore.
Spc. Loren Dauterman, who trained at Fort McCoy last month with the Wisconsin National Guard, found something good to say about the falling-apart floors and ceilings in his quarters. Barely.
“It is better than sleeping out in the woods,” Dauterman said last week, “but not a whole lot better.”
Thousands of soldiers are assigned to barracks built for the GIs who fought World War II and the Korean War. The buildings are showing their age, and the soldiers are getting fed up.
After a soldier’s father posted a video on YouTube last month showing the dilapidated barracks for paratroopers at Fort Bragg, N.C., Defense Secretary Robert Gates called those conditions appalling and ordered base commanders to ensure their troops have proper quarters.
The commanders have their work cut out for them.
A spot check by Associated Press reporters over the past week found many barracks plagued by recurring problems with mold, mildew and their plumbing and wiring.
Barracks at Ga. posts in adequate condition
Fort Lewis fixing up old barracks
Fort Riley barracks undergoing changes
Jackson barracks undergoing $1B in upgrades
Knox working to improve housing conditions
Meade barracks in need of repair
In many cases, the wooden, cramped and outdated housing units were scheduled for destruction, but the space and economic constraints from the war in Iraq have again filled the old barracks with soldiers. Major installations like Fort Campbell and Fort Stewart, Ga., report pumping more than $100 million into barracks improvements in recent years to make room for the flood of recruits and brigades.
go here for more