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Bush examines repairs to notorious Bragg barracks

Posted May 22, 2008

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— A month after an online video depicted squalid living conditions in barracks on Fort Bragg, President George W. Bush toured the barracks Thursday to look over repairs that have been made.

Ed Frawley of Menomonie, Wis., whose son is an 82nd Airborne Division sergeant, took a 10-minute video of the barracks after his son's unit returned from a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan. The video, which Frawley posted on YouTube.com, showed moldy ceilings and showers, peeling paint, an open sewage pipe, broken toilet seats and a flooded bathroom.

The video prompted an outcry over soldiers' living conditions, and the Army inspected its barracks worldwide to determine if similar problems existed elsewhere. The Army recently appropriated $248 million in emergency funds to improve maintenance at aging barracks, including $2.9 million for repairs at Fort Bragg.

While Bush appeared impressed with the clean, spotless latrine area during his inspection, he said the paratroopers at Fort Bragg  would be in for an upgrade of their living quarters.

"These buildings are coming down. I know you appreciate it – the soldiers appreciate it. We're going to replace them," he said.

By 2013, a $300 million renovation project will raze and replace 22 barracks at the base that date to the 1950s.

Two weeks ago, Army Secretary Pete Geren also cut the ribbon on 312 new apartments on the base for unmarried officers and senior non-commissioned officers.

15 Comments

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  • entryrejected May 23, 2008

    NEXT STOP, CAMP LEJEUNE!

  • davidgnews May 23, 2008

    doodad, I agree that Brown didn't help anything any better than 'school bus' did, LOL.

    There's some serious negligience going on at Bragg, so hopefully it has their rapt attention now. Soldiers deserve better than what they're getting, and they're caught in the middle as always. I certainly support them, although I never cared for this businessman's war.

  • doodad May 23, 2008

    Yes david, and someone needs to go back to maintinence class. Nothing like passing the buck to the President when some peon failed to do their job. Reminds me of during hurricane Katrina, Brown called the President and asked him to call Mayor Nagin to alert him to the severity of the hurricane and tell him to evacuate New Orleans. Nagin's poor leadership and idiodicy got passed off to Pres. Bush by the media. What happened to following the chain of command? Seems like this issue could have been nipped at a local level, meaning Fort Bragg.

    After the Walter Reid episode, Pres. Bush had to make an appearance.

  • Panther May 23, 2008

    lelrino, I have talked to a few old salts from Fort Bragg and they said the same thing you said. Thanks for confriming it.

  • davidgnews May 23, 2008

    doodad - this is a base management problem, nothing more.

    Bush has nothing to do with these problems, it was all about his photo op. Nice try at a straw man, though.

  • doodad May 23, 2008

    No doubt if Pres. Bush had ignored there were problems, the negative comments here would be the same. A case of dam if you do and dam if you don't.

  • SaveEnergyMan May 23, 2008

    Wow, do anyone seriously believe that Mr. Bush would tour a facility that was not prepped, cleaned to within an inch of its life, and not otherwise perfect? This nothing more than a political publicity stunt (not being partisan here, Mr. Clinton would have done the exact same thing eight years ago).

    I like the comment about NCO's inspecting the barracks. Sounds like the Army has gotten soft. Cleanliness and having order is important. Businesses call it lean manufacturing, the military used to call it discipline.

  • lilreno is in the wind May 23, 2008

    Where the problems with filthy barracks started when they adopted the BOSS program (Better Oportunities for Single Soldiers). They took the inpection authority away for the NCO's and wasn't allowed to inspect rooms for cleanliness. We didnt have this problem when I was a private, you either kept your room squared away or you took your shelter half and lived outside the barracks until your area was clean. They need to give the NCO's their authority back and let them instill the nessesary disclipline to ensure that the troops are in a clean healthy environment. The way it is now, the army is like "the boy scouts without adult supervision"

  • davidgnews May 22, 2008

    Wow, they have that place looking like summer camp now. It's all about Bush's image, and not the soldiers who deserve a lot more than a token photo-op visit.

  • denverbob234 May 22, 2008

    and his response was "That don't look good" "does that look good?" Then Cheney told him "it don't look good"

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