Fort Polk Guardian 02-22-2019

Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Kimberly.Reischling@us.army.mil Trading post ads: tradingpostads@yahoo.com Fort Polk Homepage http://www.jrtc-polk.army.mil Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: sales@thefortpolkguardian.com Guardian Feb. 22, 2019 With the concerns about on post housing, the Guardian staff was tasked with asking Fort Polk hous- ing residents the question: Do you have issues or comments concern- ing housing? The following are their answers: Carla MacDonald : MacDonald has lived in housing for four years. “My experi- ence with maintenance has been posi- tive overall. They are quick and profession- al. I really appreciate the recent up- dates on the outside of the houses and look forward to the repairs that need to take place on the roads,” she said. “My only concern is with the lawn and electrical subcontractors. There seems to be a disconnect in communication that happens be- tween the resident repair request, Corvias and the subcontractor. It seems to take a long time for things to happen,” said MacDonald. Carrie Smith : As a military spouse of 23 years, Smith said she and her husband have lived in military hous- ing for all but eight of those years. They have lived in Fort Polk hous- ing in 1996-98 and from 2013-pre- sent. “I go back and forth on this sub- ject. Having housing available is a positive thing. You have a support community and my husband loves being close to work, but I believe the privatization of housing changed a lot of things,” she said. “There used to be an expectation that Soldiers and Families would take responsibility for taking care of their homes and the homes were better taken care of overall. Now it’s up to housing to take care of everything and it’s frustrating when it takes too long to fix an is- sue that doesn’t get fixed correctly the first time,” said Smith. “My biggest concern is the lack of basic upkeep of the properties. There is a lot of what I call band- aid fixes that don’t fix the original reason for the problem or fixes the problem but doesn’t correct any of the issues that might have resulted from the original problem. Mainte- nance “fixed” my ceiling in my kitchen. It looks like a three year old could have done a better job. That’s why 90 percent of the time I hesitate to call them. I feel like if I do the work myself, at least it will be done right,” she said. Cpl. Devon Douglas : Douglas has lived in housing for two years. “Housing takes good care of me. They do a good job. You can call in an order and they are there quickly and are profes- sional. For example, it was Thanks- giving and my sink decided to break. There was water shooting out of it. I called and 10 minutes later someone was at my home to fix the sink. They explained what was wrong, fixed the problem and it hasn’t given me any trouble since then,” said Douglas. Angela Chopper : Chopper and her Family have lived in housing for four years. “Our house is old — prob- ably around 40 years or so. That’s proba- bly some of the oldest housing on post. That being said, it has old house problems such as settling, loose screws, electrical dif- ficulties and more. For example, when it rains at a certain angle we lose electricity outside of the house, as well as inside the house in our bathrooms. That can be a lit- tle scary. I also had a plug in my sewing room blow. The electrician who fixed it said the wiring wasn’t done right originally. That worries me,” she said. “On a positive note, I think some of the maintenance men are amazing people — other things about housing, not so much. I put in a request to fix my door knob. It took a dozen calls to get that door- knob fixed right. We have lived in older homes at other posts and they were better maintained than they are here,” said Chopper. Ashley Bar- rett : Barrett has lived in Fort Polk hous- ing since 2012. “The only thing I like is the area around us. We have a lot of trees and yard space, and a park Housing message from SA, CSA We are deeply troubled by the recent reports highlighting the deficient conditions in some of our family housing. It is unac- ceptable for our Families who sacrifice so much to have to en- dure these hardships in their own homes. Our most sacred obliga- tion as Army leaders is to take care of our people — our Soldiers and our Family members. We are fully committed to providing a safe and secure environment on all of our installations. We have directed an Inspector General in- vestigation and have taken other actions. We will hold our chain of com- mand and private contractors ac- countable to ensure they are meeting their obligations to pro- vide safe, high quality family housing. - Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley Please see People , page 5 In our view GUARDIAN STAFF For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) E ail: sales thefortpolkguardian.co

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