Fort Polk Guardian 11-09-2018

NewScope TRICARE town hall Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital hosts a virtual TRICARE Town Hall, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Humana representa- tives will be on site to answer your con- cerns. You may attend in BJACH’s Dining Facility or watch live on BJACH’s Face- book page - Army Community Hospital BJACH . You can submit questions during the town hall. Don’t miss this important Facebook live event. BJACH hours Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital announces the following closures during November: • BJACH clinics, labs, radiology and pharmacy are closed Monday in obser- vance of Veterans Day. The emergency room and wards remain open. • BJACH clinics, labs, radiology and pharmacy are closed Nov. 22 in observance of Thanksgiving. The Patient Centered Medical Home and pharmacy are open from 7:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 23. The emer- gency room and wards remain open. • BJACH’s Integrated Disability Evalua- tion System (Physical evaluation board liai- son officer) Office will relocate to the Women’s Health Transition Building CO201, located at the end of Third Street on 6218 Alabama Avenue. No PEBLOS services will be available today through Tuesday. The PEBLOS Office will reopen on Wednesday at 8 a.m. at its new location. All telephone numbers will remain the same. Speaker needed A speaker is needed for Fort Polk’s Na- tive American Heritage observance Nov. 28. If you are interested in speaking at the event contact Sgt. 1st Class Usala Laulaula at 531-0983. Abandoned vehicles The Directorate of Emergency Services Traffic Section will release the following vehicles, boats and trailers to a towing company for disposal on Nov. 14 if they re- main unclaimed. Items are listed with the last four numbers of their VIN. If one of these vehicles belongs to you please con- tact the Fort Polk Police Traffic Section at 531-1806/2677. 2006 Pontiac G6 0007 2001 Jeep Cherokee 6993 2007 Nissan Versa 7461 2009 Scion 4354 Briefs Prepping for single Soldiers’ return FORT POLK, La. — The picture most people get of Soldiers returning home from a deploy- ment to Afghanistan or Iraq is one of Families hugging their heroes and taking them home to clean sheets, a dirt-free bedroom and snacks de- void of the desert grit they’ve often become ac- customed to. While that might be true for many of the War- riors, others — especially those single Soldiers who live in the barracks — find themselves com- ing home to a bare room, their household items including sheets, towels, shower curtains and toiletries in storage and unavailable for a few days. Thanks to a few Family members, the staff of Barksdale Federal Credit Union and the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, single Soldiers as- signed to Fort Polk’s 573rd Engineer Company, 46th Engineer Battalion, returning from a nine- month deployment to Afghanistan in November will find not an empty room, but most — if not all — the comforts of home. “This is the first time our company has done this,” said 1st Lt. Sara Johnson, 573rd Eng Co rear detachment commander. “We wanted to make sure those single Soldiers who deployed didn’t come home to an empty barracks room.” Johnson said she got the idea from Lauren Eckelkamp, the spouse of Staff Sgt. Christopher Eckelkamp, who is also a member of the 573rd Eng Co and deployed. “I have a girlfriend who said when she was single she was a Soldier and when they returned home from deployments, they came home to empty barracks,” Eckelkamp said. “I thought that was kind of sad. I’m thinking, ‘The week be- fore my husband comes home I’m cleaning, cooking and buying shampoo and things he’s go- ing to need, and these poor Soldiers have noth- ing.’ I wanted to get involved and help so that they have something to come home to.” After bringing the Soldiers’ plight to Johnson, Eckelkamp turned her attention to someone she knew would be willing to help — the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce. Anne Causey, Vernon Chamber of Commerce executive direc- tor, said her organization was more than willing to assist. “This is the second time we’ve done this,” Purcell said. “We also did this for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team when they returned. That was when we learned that these Soldiers came home to empty barracks. There were 900 Soldiers there. When Lauren spoke to me and said they had 85 Soldiers I told her we had her back and could take care of it.” Purcell said the Chamber used funds from its Military Affairs Committee, along with funds and items donated by members of the chamber. “In Vernon Parish we love our Soldiers and it’s easy for me to get help for something like this,” Purcell said. “It’s another opportunity to do something for our Soldiers. We want Soldiers when they leave Fort Polk to say it was a great place to be stationed because you’re treated well and they love you here. Our Soldiers are why we’re free and we’ll do anything we can for them.” Johnson, Purcell, Eckelkamp and staff from Barksdale Federal Credit Union gathered Nov. 6 to pack bags to place in each of the single Sol- diers’ barracks room. Also, Soldiers who did not deploy cleaned the rooms of dust, cobwebs and any other “crud” that might have accumulated during the deployment so the Soldiers could come “home” to a clean house. “Living is Leesville is a great place for Soldiers because the community is so supportive,” John- son said. “It was uplifting and encouraging to see how the community came together to sup- port our Soldiers.” By CHUCK CANNON Guardian editor ANGIE THORNE / GUARDIAN Guardian Nov. 9, 2018 /3 Please see Briefs , page 8 First Lt. Sara Johnson, 573rd Engineer Company, 46th Engineer Battalion rear detachment commander (right) and Tracy Kerlin, an employee at Barksdale Federal Credit Union, pack goodie bags for single Soldiers assigned to the 573rd Eng Co re- turning from a nine-month deployment to Iraq.