Fort Bragg Soldiers Living in Deplorable Conditions

Believe it or not, I learned about some ought-to-be-condemned facilities in which Army soldiers are living at Fort Bragg by reading a post at the ON DEADLINE blog at USA TODAY:

Edward Frawley posted this video on YouTube after seeing the conditions his son was living in at Fort Bragg following a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan.

I encourage you to watch the video below, then demand action from your members of Congress to correct this show of disrespect for these brave warriors and ask others to do the same.

16 thoughts on “Fort Bragg Soldiers Living in Deplorable Conditions

  1. Kipling said it best:

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

  2. I was stationed at Ft. Bragg in 91-93 with the 82nd. Those barraks are from later than 1942, the 1950s era. The WWII barraks are the old wood ones on the other side of the post. Stained ceiling tiles, mold, etc. What is new? In my old 3 man room I was given boxes of ceiling tiles and told to replace them all. Barraks painting? It’s usually done by the troops. Those barraks look bad because everyone has been deployed. Once the optempo slows down it will look better.

  3. Okay, I watched the video. The plugged drain happened within 12 hours of their arrival. Not unusual for barracks that haven’t been lived in for a while.

    You know who has the primary responsibility for the cleanliness of the barracks? I’ll tell you: the folks who live there. And their Staff Non-commissioned Officers (SNCO’s) and Officers have the responsibility of making sure the troops keep the barracks clean.

    So what do you think happened when the unit got stateside? A large chunk of them probably went on leave, leaving only a caretaker force behind. Or maybe they did it 50/50. At any rate, the ones left behind are the ones who have to clean it up and keep it clean. SNCO’s need to call the proper people at Base and get plumbers in. Painting can be scheduled, and the loose paint removed by the troops.

    Oh, you think the barracks should have been in top condition when the troops returned? Then please tell me, who would have done the work? The military doesn’t keep lots of people sitting around just to fix up barracks.

    As a Navy friend of mine once said, “You know why I joined the Navy? I liked all those nice clean ships. Now I know who keeps them that way.”

    Suck it up, gents, and fix it. The Company Commander ought to have his ass on the line over this.

    Rex
    LTCOL, USMC (RET)

  4. Anybody check to see if Pelosi’s husband’s (one of) two military construction companies did the last renovation?

  5. Or you could call the Post Engineers. They’re civil service. Good luck.

    These look about like the AIT barracks I was in at Ft. Dix, 1969.

  6. When I was on active duty in the Corps, we were detached to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa. The Air Force gave us a barracks, (read dormitory), that they considered unfit for Air Force personnel to live in. Our Company Gunny had us tear that place down to the bare walls, and floors, then repaint, and re wax the floors. When we got done it was better than any other barracks any of us had ever been in. We had weekly inspections, and field days of that barracks, and it always looked cleaner than anything the Air Force had, just not as new. The troops will have that place cleaned up in no time, if their NCO’s are worth their salt.

  7. Heh. Doesn’t look too much different from my dorm at the University of Oregon ’92-’93….

  8. Barracks maintenance may be a good way of occupying idle hands but these hands have been busy for quite a while and would probably appreciate the *courtesy* of a ready-made place to live.

  9. How embarrassing to be the son of this pompous windbag. What a clueless sheltered life he must have lived. I wonder what the son would say?

  10. wlpeak — I thought about that myself, but hey, the cat is already out of the bag on this deal. The video had 70,000+ hits on it already when I posted this item.

  11. There’s an old saying – that what doesn’t get inspected, doesn’t get done.

    1 – leadership problem. Both garrison and commander to allow the barracks to deteriorate and be in this condition upon return. No excuse that no one in the chain went down there to check. How about taking the command chain and making them camp out on the parade ground till it meets standards that wouldn’t meet condemnation status in most communities.

    2. The shift from eternal duty details to using troops as soldiers meant someone had to perform maintenance on these buildings. Most likely DEH who’s outsourced the function as a ‘cost and personnel savings’ initiative. This is what happens when funding for ‘outsourcing’ drys up. Still not an excuse.

    3. Thanks for ‘in the old Army’ comments, but this isn’t the old Army. You want to keep expensively trained and experienced soldiers, you don’t treat them like crap. When they leave, they’ll let their buds know what awaits them in any possible ventures in the service and its not fun, travel and adventure. A troop remembers his first day and last day.

  12. My Air Defense Artillery battery called just such a building “home” at Fort Bliss back in the mid-to-late ’80s, though ours was *much* better maintained that the one in the video. They’re nice enough, all said and done.

    But the one in the video……. Hoo boy….. Someone should get his or her head handed to them over that one. Maybe it couldn’t be fixed up in time for the arrival of the troops, but whoever “owned” it should have had the common courtesy to inform the soon-to-arrive occupants that the building needed lots of work. It at least would have allowed the company’s officers and NCOs to requisition the necessary materials and organize work parties.

    A week or so of steady work on the basics (paint-scraping, sweeping, mopping, etc.) by a whole company of men can work a few wonders, and a company of soldiers is going to have at least a few men who know *something* about house-painting and plumbing.

    Still, what a “welcome home” present. Yeesh.

    Hale Adams
    ex-1LT, AD, USAR
    Btry A, 1-65 ADA (HAWK), 11th ADA Bde
    Fort Bliss, Texas
    1985-88

  13. My first night at Benning (OCS) was spent with the others squeegeeing water from a busted crapper on the third floor. Down the stairs, along the halls, down the stairs, out the door.

    It was a good intro to being harassed by tacs for six months.

    IOW, don’t mean nothing. Not a trauma.

    Good for bashing the military and, by extension, Bush. Never heard much of this when Carter and Clinton were prez. And those facilities were AWFUL.

  14. Richard — This isn’t a Bush-bashing post. A look at the rest of this blog will convince you I’m not a Bush basher when it comes to Iraq and/or the Global War on Terror.

  15. Rex:

    This is the condition they *GOT* The barracks in, not the condition after they’d been there a few months.

    The building my Unit *just* moved in to (not barracks, offices) doesn’t have enough power to run our equipment, and we can’t *get* more power because the building has been condemned.

    Yeah, the building we *just* moved in to (well 18 months ago) was condemned before we moved in.

    There are things the military has to spend money on, and there are things that are complete wastes of taxpayer money. Things like some of the new ships the navy is building, they start building the boat, THEN start redoing the plans for the boat wasting tens of millions of dollars in the process. This serves no military purpose, but flows lots of money to contractors (like the ones many retired officers work for).

    I’m not against this war. I’ve been part of the military on and off since I was 18 years old (over 20 years ago). I love my country and I want nothing best for my fellow soldiers.

    Lt Col Rex, to blame the soldiers for this is an act unbecoming an officer.

    You remind me of that prick XO I had when I was a marine 20 years ago. Used to go into the drains with a clothes hanger looking for crud. Drains that were screwed and we weren’t supposed to remove. Yeah, it need to be kept clean–the drain in the shower was horribly designed, but you do NOT put junior troops in the position of having to disobey one order to obey another.

  16. Richard:

    You didn’t hear this back then because there was no “blogosphere”, no Youtube to get the story out.

    Even during Reagan’s presidency the facilities were awful, and grunts always got the short end of the stick.

    Of course, temporary barracks were the worst.

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