Fort Polk Guardian 10-25-2019

Guardian Oct. 25, 2019 NewScope PT hours Army physical readiness training has been expanded from 6:30-8 a.m., Monday through Friday. This necessitates the clo- sure of the one ways along Alabama and Georgia avenues from 6:30-8 a.m. Monday through Friday. Signs are being updated with the new times and road blocks/barri- cades will be in place. Please exercise cau- tion when encountering Soldiers conduct- ing PT. Road repair Phase 3 of the Louisiana Avenue road re- pair project requires the closure of Bell Richard and Holmlund avenues and Mag- nolia Drive at the intersections with Louisiana Avenue from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. be- ginning Monday through Nov. 15. Repairs include the milling and asphalt paving from ACP 1 (Entrance Road) to La. Hwy 467. This phase will require changes to the traffic pattern of Corvias housing residents due to these intersections being closed to traffic. Residents will be required to utilize de- tours along these routes to access and de- part the housing areas from La. Hwy 467. Additionally, ACP 4 (Louisiana Avenue and La. Hwy 10) will remain open Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. for outbound traffic. Through traffic on Louisiana Avenue from La. Hwy 467 to ACP 1 will be open for in and outbound traffic, but motorists are encouraged to utilize alternate routes due to traffic congestion. Note: ACP 2 (University Parkway and La. Hwy 467 North) and ACP 5 (La. Hwy 467 and La. Hwy 10) will resume normal operating hours during this phase. Drainage repair A contract was awarded to repair the failed drainage structure at Turtle Pond on Warrior Hills Golf Course. The project re- quires the replacement of the riser and drainage pipe across the fairway of hole 18. The fitness trail will require a closure and detour from Tuesday through Nov. 12. During PT hours (6:30-8 a.m.) a detour will be utilized that follows the cart path adja- cent to hole 18’s fairway. Pedestrians should exercise caution dur- ing this time as lighting is limited along this route. Pedestrians are asked to either avoid the work area or utilize the signalized in- tersections at La. Hwy 467 and Corps Road and La. Hwy 467 and Louisiana Avenue to detour the construction zone between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Briefs /3 FORT POLK, La. — The Department of De- fense is preparing for the largest patronage ex- pansion for commissary, exchange and certain morale, welfare and recreation retail facilities in more than 65 years. Starting Jan. 1 the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security are expand- ing in-store commissary and military exchange shopping privileges as well as Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation retail facility use to veterans who are Purple Heart recipients, former pris- oners of war or with service-con- nected disabilities and caregivers or family caregivers who are en- rolled as the primary caregiver for veterans in the Department of Veteran Affairs Program of Compressive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Justin Hall, director of the DoD office of MWR and Resale Policy said there are currently about 6 million households eligible for the shopping benefit. As of Jan. 1 that number will increase by about 3 million. “That’s a huge lift across the entire system,” Hall said. Hall said newly eligible patrons should go to the visitors center at the installation where they plan to do most of their shopping to register their credentials. “Thereafter, they will be able to access the in- stallation in the same way as common access card and DoD ID card holders,” he said. The new customers will pay a fee for using a credit card at commissaries, except for those us- ing the Military Star card. The initial fee for com- mercial credit cards will be 1.9%; for debit cards, 0.5%. Credit card companies charge transaction fees to retailers when customers use their credit cards. There will be a flag built into the system at commissaries so that when the card is swiped the fee will be charged. The fee applies only to new patrons using credit cards in commis- saries, not to those who were previous- ly authorized to shop. New customers can avoid the fees by paying by cash, check or using the Military Star card, which they will be eligible to ap- ply for beginning Jan. 1. Details regarding identifica- tion requirements for both vet- erans and caregivers are being finalized by Military, Commu- nity and Family Policy office (MC&FP). At this time it’s expected vet- erans will use a Veterans Health Identifica- tion Card (VHIC) and caregivers a letter. Any such credit and/or debit card fees only apply to the groups as stated above. For information on acquiring a VHIC visit fits/enroll or visit a VA medical facility. The VA will issue eligible caregivers a letter indicating they are the primary caregiver or family caregiv- er. For more on how this will affect Fort Polk, read upcoming issues of the Guardian. Commissary, PX to expand patronage GUARDIAN STAFF Commissaries and post exchanges will open their doors Jan. 1 to an expanded group of veterans who previously were not authorized to use their facilities. CHUCK CANNON / GUARDIAN