As we always say----there are a small percentage of US citizens liking BARRACKS' life. Most military citizens join to stay a few tours and look forward to returning to civilian life. Those percentage making military a career are striving to rise in rank to become that officer eligible for off-base personal housing.
OWNING ONE'S HOME IS SOMETHING 99% OF US WE THE PEOPLE HAVE AS A GOAL. WE LOVE THIS RIGHT AND OPPORTUNITY.
As this article states, it is often too hard for active military to buy a house because of constant re-assignment. That is where the GI BILL for retired military allowed that opportunity once civilian life allowed stability.
Pay and Benefits Housing Allowance
Living in Military Family Housing or Living Off-Base
By Rod Powers
Updated January 31, 2018
Members who have dependents usually have the option of living on-base in military family housing for free, or off-base and receive a monthly housing allowance. Members who are assigned to locations where dependents are not allowed to travel at government expense (such as basic training, and some unaccompanied overseas assignments) can live in the barracks for free, and still continue to receive the housing allowance (for the location of their dependents), in order to provide a household for their family members.
At some bases, members may not have a choice. When I was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, in California, all First Sergeants and many commanders were required by local regulation to live on-base. It is because the Wing Commander wanted his senior leadership readily available at all times. The closest livable off-base town is Lancaster, which is about 45 miles away from the main base.
Requirements for Family Housing
To live in military family housing, you must be living in the house with your dependent(s). There are exceptions for those who are temporarily deployed, or who are serving a remote overseas tour. In these cases, the family members can continue to live in military family housing, while the member is away. If you are divorced or unmarried, and you have physical custody of a child or children for at least 1/2 the year, you qualify. If you are married and you and your spouse separate (assuming no children are living with you), and your spouse moves out, you must terminate your family housing within 60 days.
Conversely, if you move out, your spouse/family lose the military housing entitlement, as well (again, within 60 days).
Quality of On-Base Family Housing
On-base family housing is a crap-shoot. Many bases have outstanding family housing. Other bases have on-base housing that is badly in need of renovation or replacement.
Many bases today have "civilian owned" military family housing. Civilian companies are contracted to build, operate, and maintained family housing, and "rent" it only to military members, in exchange for their housing allowance. Many overseas bases have high-rise (condo-style) on-base family housing units.
Unlike barracks living, on-base family housing is rarely inspected, unless there is a complaint, or until you move out. However, on many bases, the housing office sends an inspector out to drive around once a week to make sure you're cutting your grass, as required. If not, you get a "ticket." So many "tickets" in a designated time, and you're forced to move out of on-base family housing. If you live off-base, you probably won't have an inspector driving around, telling you that your grass is 1/2 inch too long (your landlord may have something to say about it, however).
Many bases have a waiting list, ranging from one month to a year for family housing. Therefore, if you want to live on-base, you may have to live off-base for awhile when you first get there. In such cases, the military will move your property to your off-base residence, and then move it to your military family housing when you relocate there.
It doesn't work the other way, however. If you live in on-base family housing, and voluntarily decide to move-off base (let's say you buy a house or something), the military won't pay for your property move. Another thing to keep in mind, if you have to live off base for a time while waiting for a military family house to become available, is to make sure your off-base lease includes a "military clause" that will allow you to break the lease, without penalty, if you move on-base. The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act allows you to break a lease in the event of reassignment to another base, or if you deploy for 90 days or more, but moving on-base is considered a "voluntary move," and is not covered under the act.
It used to be a major pain in the neck to move out of military family housing.
When you move in, the military turns over to you a spotless (and I mean SPOTLESS) housing unit and expected you to return it to them in the exact same ultra-clean condition. When I moved out of my first military family house, it took me three times to get it clean enough for the housing inspectors. I swore I would never do that again, and I didn't (the other two times I lived in military housing, I hired a cleaning service to clean when I moved out). I've been told those days are now gone. These days, there is a pre-inspection, and the inspectors tell you exactly what to do. For example, if they plan to re-paint, you won't have to waste any time cleaning the walls. If they plan to replace the linoleum, you won't have to remove wax build-up from the floors. Some bases, I understand, now have contract cleaners that they use, once you move out, and they do the maintenance, and you don't have to hardly clean at all.
Pros of Living On Base
If you live on-base, you will be closer to support functions, such as the base exchange, commissary, youth center, or child care center. Many people like the idea that all their neighbors will be military members. Others may prefer to live off base among civilians, and "forget" they're in the military when they're not on duty.
Some bases have schools right on base (either DOD-operated schools, or part of the local school district), at other bases you may have to bus or drive your child to an off-base school, so this is another factor to consider.
Buying a House
Some members may wish to live off-base to buy a house, rather than give up their housing allowance to live on-base. Personally, I always avoided buying a house while in the military. I've seen too many people who bought a house, only to receive change of assignment orders, and then have to go through the stress of selling it (in addition to the normal re-assignment stresses). Some, I've seen, were not able to sell their house, and wound up having to pay rent at their new location, and a mortgage at their old assignment (the military doesn't pay a dual housing allowance).
Here we see how some of our US military have been trying to keep a rented home---maybe overseas where assigned ---and created a method of 'outsourcing' that home while returning to US for a temporary assignment. Looks like there may have been abuse of these housing funds. Rather than allowing the house to remain empty until they return these 99% military tried to earn some extra cash----after all the Department of Defense is known to have looted trillions of dollars in frauds directed at high-ranking officials.
THERE WILL BE NO GOOSE TO OUR GANDER says the US almost totally privatized global military.
Below we see what are global banking 1% pols PRETENDING to fight this bill when in fact their districts LEAD IN PRIVATIZING ALL THAT IS PUBLIC MILITARY/VETERANS---as MD Mikulski.
'More than 30 senators already are backing an amendment from Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) to block a privatization test until a study ordered in last year’s defense authorization bill, on the costs and benefits of privatization, is completed'.
Whether these 99% military were operating somewhat of a time-sharing of rented homes to address constant temporary assignments----we don't know.
This is an example of MILITARY RENTAL HOUSING benefits taking an attack. We see our senior population group feeling their housing is under threat with these CUTS.
Senate ‘BAH Reform’ Would End Windfalls of Rent Sharing
26 May 2016 By Tom Philpott
Military Update: The Senate Armed Services Committee, as part of a more aggressive campaign to hold down military compensation costs, is calling for “substantial reform” of the $21 billion Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) program. One of its proposals would end what the committee perceives as windfall BAH payments made to service members who opt to reside together, thus lowering their actual costs of off-base housing while assigned stateside. A second BAH “reform” would cap individual monthly payments to the lesser of two amounts: either what individuals actually pay to rent housing or to a local BAH maximum based on their rank and dependency status. The reforms are described in the committee’s 678-page report [No. 114-255] released this week to explain hundreds of provisions in its fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill (S. 2943) and the reasoning behind many. The Senate bill also proposes a fourth consecutive military pay raise cap next January, sweeping changes to TRICARE, as detailed here last week, and a two-year test to privatize up to five commissaries, in addition to adopting variable pricing and other modern tools to operate the base grocery stores. More than 30 senators already are backing an amendment from Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) to block a privatization test until a study ordered in last year’s defense authorization bill, on the costs and benefits of privatization, is completed. On all of these issues, the House-passed defense bill doesn’t go as far the Senate bill would to slow compensation growth. But the Senate bill also fully funds overseas contingency operations for next year, which the House does not, triggering a veto threat from President Obama. Last year the Senate committee, chaired then, as now, by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), with close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) serving as its personnel subcommittee chairman, proposed two other controversial changes to BAH. Neither survived final negotiations with the House. One would have eliminated BAH for more than 40,000 service members married to other members, arguing that BAH is designed so one “with dependents” payment should cover a couple’s average rental costs. But Defense officials countered that BAH is integral to the total compensation package. Ending it would inflict a “significant marriage penalty” on those who happened to be wed to other service members. The committee also proposed lowering BAH to 75 percent of a full monthly rate for members who reside with other members, a change House conferees also rejected. The Senate committee under McCain still aims to end BAH windfalls with new rules it hopes the House will accept. DoD support again isn’t likely. Indeed, the committee report criticizes DoD for failing to prepare, as Congress requested, a report on how best to modify BAH rates to cover actual housing costs. In the report it gave Congress in March, the committee said, DoD “expressed its opposition to limiting BAH to actual housing costs.” The committee said the perception of housing allowances has become distorted over time. The original intent “was to provide a housing benefit for service members in recognition of the transient nature of military service, and in further recognition of the reality that civilian spouses are often unemployed and sacrifice careers of their own.” The tax-free nature of the housing allowance, the fact that rates differ based on dependency status and that BAH isn’t paid when a member lives in government housing serves to validate the original purpose, it said. Yet Defense officials have made BAH integral to its calculation of Regular Military Compensation, which is used to compare compensation to civilian salaries and track the adequacy of military pay. The disconnect of housing allowance from its real purpose grew wider still since 1999 as BAH rates rose steadily to fully cover average rental costs by 2006. The result is that BAH “now far exceeds the actual cost of housing borne by some service members,” said the committee. It cited a U.S. Army Audit Agency audit that BAH paid just to co-located married service members exceeded their actual housing costs by more than $200 million in 2014. The committee said its new reform proposals -- to provide only partial BAH tied to shared rent and to limit BAH overall based on the smaller of actual rent or the local BAH maximum – would not impact members until their first permanent change-of-station move after Jan. 1, 2018. It also directs that DoD give Congress a new report by next March on how the new BAH calculations should be implemented, and to include an estimate of the impact on force retention and overall compensation, particularly for members who now choose to reside with other members. The new BAH proposals are expected to draw the same sharp criticism from dual-service couples heard last year. One major military association already has labeled this a fresh attack on an essential element of compensation earned separately by members not assigned to base housing. Some committee critics say McCain, who entered the U.S. Naval Academy a decade before the all-volunteer force began, is trying to revert to the “paternalism” of a bygone era when the military touted “taking care of its own” and worried less about keeping military compensation competitive. Another highlight of the Senate bill, which will be voted on sometime after the Memorial Day recess, would permanently authorize a $310 a month Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) to 62,000 surviving spouses. These survivors, all of whom either had spouses die while on active duty or die in retirement from service-connected conditions, are unlikely to be satisfied with SSIA becoming permanent. It equals only about one fourth what most of them lose in Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments because they also qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the VA, and, by law, taxable SBP must be offset by non-taxed DIC. Congress created SSIA almost a decade ago to give these survivors temporary relief from the offset. Ending it entirely was seen as unaffordable. With SSIA due to expire next year, the House voted to extend it for a year. The Senate committee wants SSIA made permanent at $310, signaling that more relief than that will remain unaffordable.
We see these military benefit reforms hitting HOUSING in two ways. We see below a children's benefit cut in half making it much harder to access housing around major military bases. We see as well our 99% military citizens being treated to the same policy bringing gradual cuts to our LABOR UNION MEMBERS when NEW HIRE military have a new---NEW DEAL lowering their benefits promoted as POSITIVE because those lower housing benefits can not be used throughout life rather than the 12 year time limit after exiting the service. Remember what happened to baby boomers thinking that end-of-life savings for health and retirement would be there? Please do not wait to use those housing benefits. They will not be there MOVING FORWARD.
'The proposed cuts include a 50 percent cut in the monthly housing allowance provided to children who will have the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit transferred to them by a veteran parent. In areas with high veteran populations, such as San Diego, this would equal a monthly reduction of $1,154'.
We are told these 'family-friendly' benefits discriminate against single citizens---know what? Families pay a greater share of FEDERAL, STATE , AND LOCAL TAXES and deserve those extra family benefits. So, does this encourage family-oriented citizens from joining or staying in military? Global mercenary private corporate security and policing does tend to be more WARRIOR oriented.
'Time LimitsThe biggest attraction of this legislation is that it removes the 15-year time limit for those using their Post-9/11 GI Bill. Sounds great, but that ONLY applies to people (veterans and dependents using transferred benefits) who become eligible AFTER Jan. 1, 2018'.
What is happening to our US labor union members agreeing to these TIERED new hire policies to save their own benefits? THEY ARE LOSING THOSE BENEFITS ANYWAY.
Senate Legislation Shrinks GI Bill Housing Allowance Over Time
Military.com By Bryant Jordan
Senate lawmakers on Thursday approved an omnibus Veterans Affairs bill they say expands programs without paying for them at the expense of others by reworking the GI Bill housing payment to mirror that received by active-duty members.
The nearly 400-page Veterans First Act approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee does not, for example, include a provision to cut the housing allowance for children going to college on a parent's GI Bill -- a controversial measure that is part of the House Veterans Affairs Committee package.
"The way this is being paid for doesn't damage the benefits of veterans who receive in other areas," Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican from Kansas, said during a group press conference on Thursday morning. "So we're not taking away a benefit to pay for another benefit."
However, a source told Military.com on Thursday the legislation does roll back spending elsewhere.
The Senate bill would reduce the annual increase to the monthly housing allowance for all recipients of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, including veterans themselves, by 1 percent for five years, causing it to eventually mirror the payment received by active-duty service members.
Service members' BAH is currently on track to cover only 95 percent of housing costs by 2018 due to measures included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, while the GI Bill payments have been exempt from that reduction. The new measure would remove that exemption, bringing a 5 percent reduction to GI Bill housing payments by the end of five years, said the source, who agreed to speak on background.
The House veterans' bill would cut in half the housing allowance given to veterans' children, using the savings -- about $750 million over 10 years -- to pay for new or expanded veterans programs. The measure is opposed by some veterans groups and reluctantly backed by others.
The bipartisan Senate bill must still be reconciled with the House version and a final package approved by both chambers.
The Senate package also includes provisions intended to make it easier to fire employees, including senior executives who engage in wrongful behavior, places caps on bonuses and adds new protections for whistleblowers.
In recent years, the VA has reeled from a series of scandals, including unauthorized wait-lists for veterans seeking appointments and executives manipulating the system to retain or earn bonuses or accepting gifts. At the same time, there has been a pattern of retaliation against whistleblowers who have brought problems to the attention of leadership, lawmakers have said.
One way senior executives and others would be held accountable would be to change their employments status, so that they could be removed by VA Secretary Bob McDonald without some of protections they currently enjoy, including appealing to the Merit System Protection Board.
"The numerous scandals at the VA and the outrageous examples of employee mismanagement and misconduct have got to stop," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. "Our bill will begin to change the culture of corruption at the VA by giving the VA the tools it needs to hold bad actors accountable."
The omnibus bill also proposes to expand a department program that allows seriously injured veterans to receive care in their own homes; enhance mental health care programs; and halt the over-prescribing of opioids to veterans.
Touting the expansion of GI higher-education benefits as a reason to cut HOUSING benefits at a time when ONLINE VOCATIONAL COLLEGE classes costing little to nothing compared to when our GI BILL benefits used to pay a 4 year public university degree is LOSING GI BENEFITS.
'Lawmakers plan to pay for the expanded benefits—which will cost $3 billion over 10 years—by decreasing living stipends to GI Bill recipients so that they fall in line with active-duty service members’ basic housing allowance'.
'The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia'.
This article is obviously biased towards a global banking 1% painting of our once domestic US military becoming ELITE as it is made global mercenary and privatized and somehow US 99% of WE THE PEOPLE are jealous of military benefits. Now, we almost NEVER hear any US citizen thinking our 99% of military citizens get too much in wages or benefits. What we do see as this article states is the EXTREME WEALTH EXTREME POVERTY structure allowing GENERALS to be GLOBAL CORPORATE CEOs-------getting too much money.
The other side of this from the same far-right global banking 1% bias is this use of 1960s POVERTY LINE data ignoring 50 years of inflation having been used during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA. LIVING WAGE AS OF 2010 WAS $30,000 FOR INDIVIDUALS being poverty line----family of 4 was $58,000. What we see over and over in military media is a poverty line so skewed to DEEP, DEEP POVERTY.....
We shout to our US military families---please do not allow global banking 5% pols and players convince you our US military are not at POVERTY line. Below we see 1960s poverty stats.
Federal Poverty Level: $11,490
A single servicemember, brand new to the military, with a rank of E-1 and having less than four months of active duty service earns $1,402 in base pay each month. We don’t even need to add the value of housing and meals, because that equals $16,824 per year.
Family of 2
Federal Poverty Level: $15,510
As explained in the single servicemember analysis, even the newest recruit earns $16,824 per year in base pay. Even if you add a spouse, you don’t need to include BAS or BAH to exceed the poverty level. If we did include BAS and BAH, that brand new E-1 would earn $28,944. (Yes, I know that he or she would still be in training. Work with me here, people.)
Family of 3
Federal Poverty Level: $19,530
With these higher levels, I’m going to work backwards because it is easier. The first four ranks are bringing in $2,904 in BAS each year, plus at least $9,216 in BAH each year. Together, that equals $12,120 of yearly income before you even get to pay. Subtracting that from the federal poverty level of $19,530 means that the servicemember would need to earn at least $7,410 in pay in order to not be below the federal poverty line. Given that an E-1 under four months is earning $16,824 in pay, there are no families of three that are living below the poverty level.
Family of 4
Federal Poverty Level: $23,550
The math for a family of four is exactly the same as the math for a family of three. Lowest base pay is $16,824, plus BAS of $2,904 and BAH of $9,216. Therefore, the lowest paid servicemember in a very cheap housing area is receiving at least $28,944 in pay and allowances each year. A family of four being supported by just a new recruit is earning an income in excess of the federal poverty level.
Family of 5
Federal Poverty Level: $27,570
The same as for a family of three or a family of four: Lowest possible base pay of $16,824 plus BAS of $2,904 plus BAH of $9,216 equals $28,944 in annual pay and allowances. While you’re getting close to the poverty level with a family of four, you’re still not quite there.
Family of 6
Federal Poverty Level: $31,590
As we’ve established in the math above, a new military member is receiving at least $28,944 in pay and allowances. Therefore, an E-1 with less than four months of service who has a family of six is receiving income below the federal poverty level for their family size. However, it isn’t long before that E-1’s income increases above the federal poverty level. Doing the math backwards again, take the federal poverty level of $31,590 for a family of six and subtract the yearly allowances of $12,120, that servicemember needs to earn $19,470 in annual base pay. Divided by 12 months, that would require a monthly base pay of $1622.50. Checking the 2013 Military Pay Chart, you can see that E-2 of any service are earning $1,699 per month.
So, yes, today's global private military IS being deliberately made to feel SEPARATE from civilians because of that PRAETORIAN GUARD effect of OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1% freemasonry. 99% WE THE PEOPLE black, white, and brown citizens AND our 99% of US military citizens must stop what is indeed a deliberate separation enriching only that 1%-----as with third world GENERALS.
Remember, in the DARK AGES a Praetorian Guard was extreme wealth extreme poverty ------the 99% of military were starving, poor, and housing not provided.
U.S. military and civilians are increasingly divided
By David Zucchino and David S. Cloud
May 24, 2015 | 10:05 PM
| Spc. Aaron Schade and his wife, Amanda, prepare to be photographed with their twin boys upon his return to North Carolina from Afghanistan in July 2014. (James Robinson / For the Los Angeles Times)
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Jovano Graves' parents begged him not to join the Army right out of high school in 2003, when U.S. troops were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But their son refused his parents' pleas to try college. He followed them both into the Army instead.
FOR THE RECORD
This story says that the last three U.S. presidents never served on active duty. George W. Bush was put on active-duty status for about a year during his training with the Air National Guard, according to a National Guard spokesman.
Last June, 11 years later, Staff Sgt. Jovano Graves returned home from Afghanistan, joining his mother, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Sonia Graves-Rivers, for duty here at Ft. Bragg.
"My family, going way, way back, has always felt so proud to be Americans," said Graves-Rivers, who comes from a family in which military service spans six generations, starting with her great-great-grandfather, Pfc. Marion Peeples, who served in a segregated black unit during World War I.
Her father, Cpl. Harvey Lee Peeples, fought in the Vietnam War. Her uncle, Henry Jones, was career Air Force. Another uncle, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Graves, spent 22 years in the Army. Her sister, Janice, served 24 years.
"In our family, there's a deep sense that being American means serving — showing gratitude by giving back to your country," Graves-Rivers said.
Multi-generational military families like the Graveses form the heart of the all-volunteer Army, which increasingly is drawing its ranks from the relatively small pool of Americans with historic family, cultural or geographic connections to military service.
While the U.S. waged a war in Vietnam 50 years ago with 2.7 million men conscripted from every segment of society, less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population is in the armed services today — the lowest rate since World War II. America's recent wars are authorized by a U.S. Congress whose members have the lowest rate of military service in history, led by three successive commanders in chief who never served on active duty.
Surveys suggest that as many as 80% of those who serve come from a family in which a parent or sibling is also in the military. They often live in relative isolation — behind the gates of military installations such as Ft. Bragg or in the deeply military communities like Fayetteville, N.C., that surround them.
The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.
The U.S. military today is gradually becoming a separate warrior class, many analysts say, that is becoming increasingly distinct from the public it is charged with protecting.
As the size of the military shrinks, the connections between military personnel and the broad civilian population appear to be growing more distant, the Pew Research Center concluded after a broad 2012 study of both service members and civilians.
Most of the country has experienced little, if any, personal impact from the longest era of war in U.S. history. But those in uniform have seen their lives upended by repeated deployments to war zones, felt the pain of seeing family members and comrades killed and maimed, and endured psychological trauma that many will carry forever, often invisible to their civilian neighbors.
Today's military enjoys a lifestyle that in many ways exceeds that of much of the rest of the country: regular pay raises and lavish reenlistment bonuses, free healthcare, subsidized housing and, after 20 years of service, generous retirement benefits unavailable to many other Americans.
Senior officers live in large houses, travel on their own planes and oversee whole continents with little direction from Washington. Special-operations teams carry out kill missions and drone strikes — some even targeting U.S. citizens — that most civilians never even hear about.
Now, as the military winds down its 14-year-war in Afghanistan and the Army cuts 18,000 troops from its ranks, military officials are stepping up efforts to bridge the gap between veterans and the civilian world they are preparing to rejoin.
"The last decade of war has affected the relationship between our society and the military," Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a commentary in 2013. "As a nation, we've learned to separate the warrior from the war. But we still have much to learn about how to connect the warrior to the citizen.... We can't allow a sense of separation to grow between us."
Dempsey's comments reflect a growing concern in the military that reintegrating service members into communities whose understanding of war is gleaned largely from television may be as difficult as fighting the war.
"I am well-aware that many Americans, especially our elite classes, consider the military a bit like a guard dog," said Lt. Col. Remi M. Hajjar, a professor of behavioral sciences and leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
AMERICA DOES NOT HAVE AN ELITE CLASS -----
"They are very thankful for our protection, but they probably wouldn't want to have it as a neighbor," he said. "And they certainly are not going to influence or inspire their own kids to join that pack of Rottweilers to protect America."
As she awaited her husband's Ft. Bragg homecoming recently, Amanda Schade gave her twin baby sons pacifiers printed with "I love Daddy." She checked her makeup, then held up two small American flags the Army had supplied.
Amanda spotted Spc. Aaron Schade among paratroopers standing at attention before a huge American flag at Pope Field. She whispered to her 3-month-old sons, Bruce and Ben: "That's your daddy. He's a hero." It would be the first meeting for the father and his sons.
A general announced: "Please go welcome home your soldier!"
Amanda rushed forward, a twin tucked into the crook of each arm. Aaron swept up all three. "I love you," he said. He cupped Amanda's face in both hands for a long, passionate kiss. She broke down and sobbed as the band played "The Army Goes Rolling Along."
These scenes play out across America as the troops flock home, but they happen behind the locked gates of military bases, largely unseen by the civilian world.
Increasingly, those bases have become fortresses. Base closures have consolidated troop populations onto a dozen large "joint" bases and other huge installations like Ft. Bragg, home to 55,000 soldiers and their 74,000 dependents.
Bases often feature their own shopping centers, movie theaters, restaurants and ball fields. Troops board planes for distant conflicts on their airfields and return wounded to their hospitals. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the bases are largely off-limits to civilians.
"Military bases are our most exclusive gated communities," said Phillip Carter, an Iraq veteran who directs the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.
The Schades, like two-thirds of Ft. Bragg families, live outside the base. But most of their neighbors are military or ex-military.
The Army's influence in Fayetteville is so pervasive — as in many towns near big military bases in America — that it's often hard to tell where the military ends and the civilian world begins.
A helicopter crash or deadly roadside bomb in Iraq or Afghanistan can bring Fayetteville to a dead stop. The news races across town in phone calls, text messages and tweets: Was it one of ours?
People mark their calendars with deployment departures and arrivals. There is a baby boom nine months after every big battalion or brigade arrives home. In the schools, graduation ceremonies are live-streamed to parents deployed overseas.
Yet only a 65-mile drive north of Ft. Bragg, in the college town of Carrboro near Durham, the military is a universe away. Many there have no connection save for the brief moment of gratitude and embarrassment they feel when they see a man in uniform at the airport, missing a leg.
"We glorify the military in this country in a way that's really weird," said Eric Harmeling, 21, a Carrboro-area resident who often argues with his father, a politically conservative minister, about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It's like the Roman legions.... It's like we're being told to kneel down and worship our heroes."
Jerstin Crosby, a former graduate student at the University of North Carolina who now works as a computer artist, said the only direct encounter with the military he can remember was when he taught a Middle Eastern art course to airmen at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C.
He respected the airmen's knowledge of Iraq — some seemed to know it better than he did, for all his education — but was also sometimes baffled by them. Why, he wondered, did everyone on base stop their cars at 5 p.m. and stand at attention? Only later did he learn it was a daily show of respect as the nation's flag was lowered.
"I thought it was some kind of prank they were playing on me," he said.
George Baroff, enjoying an outdoor lunch at an organic food co-op in Carrboro one recent afternoon, said he understood the military quite well: He served three years as a draftee during World War II before eventually becoming a psychology professor in nearby Chapel Hill.
Baroff, 90, finds himself startled when people learn of his war record and say, as Americans often do to soldiers these days, "Thank you for your service."
"You never, ever heard that in World War II. And the reason is, everybody served," he said.
In Baroff's view, today's all-volunteer military has been robbed of the sense of shared sacrifice and national purpose that his generation enjoyed six decades ago. Today's soldiers carry a heavier burden, he said, because the public has been disconnected from the universal responsibility and personal commitment required to fight and win wars.
"For us, the war was over in a few years. The enemy surrendered and were no longer a threat," he said. "For soldiers today, the war is never over; the enemy is never defeated." The result, he added, is "a state of perpetual anxiety that the rest of the country doesn't experience."
Increasingly, America's warrior class is defined by geography.
Southern states consistently provide the biggest proportion of recruits. California had the highest number of enlistments in 2013 — a total of 18,987 — but the state supplies a relatively low percentage of its 18- to 24-year-olds, the age group that fills the military rolls every year.
The highest-rate contributors were Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Virginia and South Carolina. The District of Columbia was last.
The military-civilian divide is not marked by particular animosity or resentment on the civilian side. In airports and restaurants, civilians thank men and women in uniform for their service. They cheer veterans at ballgames and car races.
What most don't realize is how frequently such gestures ring hollow.
"So many people give you lip service and offer fake sympathy. Their sons and daughters aren't in the military, so it's not their war. It's something that happens to other people," said Phillip Ruiz, 46, a former Army staff sergeant in Tennessee who was wounded twice during three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Douglas Pearce, a former Army lieutenant who fought in Afghanistan and is now a marriage and family counselor in Nashville, said civilians seem to think they "can assuage their guilt with five seconds in the airport."
"What they're saying is, 'I'm glad you served so that I didn't have to, and my kids won't have to.'"
Opinion polls consistently find that the military is the most trusted American institution. A Gallup poll last June found that 74% of more than 1,000 Americans surveyed had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military — versus 58% in 1975, at the close of the Vietnam era.
Yet a 2011 Pew Research Center study titled "The Military-Civilian Gap" found that only a quarter of civilians who had no family ties to the military followed war news closely. Half said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made little difference in their lives, and half said they were not worth fighting.
"We've disconnected the consequences of war from the American public. As a result, that young man or woman putting on the uniform is much less likely to be your son or daughter, or even your neighbor or classmate," said Mike Haynie, director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University in upstate New York. "That is a dangerous place to be."
For decades, young cadets in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, were able to rub shoulders with civilians on America's college campuses. During the height of the defense buildup under President Reagan, there were 420 Army ROTC units. Today, there are only 275 ROTC programs.
At Stanford University, Kaitlyn Benitez-Strine, a 21-year-old senior, was scribbling notes in the back row of her modern Japanese history class recently, listening as her professor cataloged the misdeeds of the American military in occupied postwar Japan.
"People became increasingly resentful of the U.S. military presence," the professor said. "There were crimes by U.S. Army personnel — rapes and murders."
For Benitez-Strine, due to be commissioned as a U.S. Army lieutenant this summer, it was an uncomfortable moment. Her sister, a Marine, is stationed in Okinawa. Her parents were Army officers, as were many other relatives. She grew up in a military community near West Point. But she rarely discusses her background with other students.
Stanford, one of the nation's elite universities, has more than 6,000 undergraduates. Benitez-Strine is one of only 11 in ROTC.
She sometimes feels uncomfortable wearing her uniform on campus, as ROTC requires two days a week. Students "might think I'm a cop or something," she said. "Or they see me as a badass who can kill them at any time."
A 2013 survey by three West Point professors found that the estrangement between the military and civilian worlds is especially pronounced among young people. Many civilians born between 1980 and 2000 "want no part of military life and want it separate from civilian life," according to sociologist Morten G. Ender, one of the study's authors.
On the other side, military recruits in that age range had become "anti-civilian in some ways," the survey found.
"I am irritated by the apathy, lack of patriotic fervor, and generally anti-military and anti-American sentiment" of other students, an unidentified 20-year-old ROTC cadet told the authors. "I often wonder if my forefathers were as filled with disgust and anger when they thought of the people they were fighting to protect as I am."
Benitez-Strine is not as critical of her fellow students. Indeed, the more time she spends in ROTC, the less certain she is about a career in the military.
As part of her training, she spent a month following a captain, the commander of an Army maintenance unit at Ramstein Air Base. She was not prepared for the sometimes mind-numbing routine of Army life and the restrictions on her freedom.
Her unit was confined to base after a radio went missing, forcing her to cancel a sightseeing trip. And when a male enlisted soldier friended her on Facebook, he was disciplined and she was warned against fraternizing with lower ranks.
"I realized being in the Army is a lifestyle, not just a job," she said. Benitez-Strine recently decided to join the Reserves, rather than go on active duty, when she graduates.
The previous school year was a grim one here in Fayetteville, where the Cumberland County school district serves the communities outside Ft. Bragg. Between the beginning of the term in September 2013 and the following spring, six students committed suicide.
Five of them — four boys and a girl — were from Army families, with a parent deployed overseas. Two shot themselves with military weapons.
School Supt. Frank Till, who has been an educator for three decades, is more than familiar with adolescent anguish. But it wasn't until he came here in 2009 that he experienced the helplessness of trying to truly understand — and help — students and staff members who live under the spell of violent events on the other side of the globe.
"You can only imagine the trauma families go through," said Till. Teachers in his district have been pulled from class to be told that a husband had been killed in Afghanistan. He has consoled students who dissolved in tears because a parent had just departed for Iraq or Afghanistan.
"There's just incredible tension here," he said.
Yet the civilian community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Local churches and other religious communities pitched in to provide support for families devastated by the deaths.
It wasn't a one-time gesture: Church prayers here are routinely offered for the living — soldiers in harm's way thousands of miles away, or just back from the war and in the next pew.
"The only people we pray for by name in church are deployed soldiers," said Jean Moore, 52, who was born and raised in Fayetteville.
"Mothers and fathers across the country — they give their children to us to serve in the military and defend our country," said Tony Chavonne, 60, a former mayor of Fayetteville. "We have an obligation in the community to support that."
"War is not a political word around here," agreed his wife, Joanne, 54. "It's where our friends and neighbors go."
We will end this week's discussion on HOUSING public policy today tied to our 99% military families with this.
What we are seeing in re-alignment of MILITARY BASES overseas looks more like what will become FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----including these high-rise housing structures. As usual, South Koreans lost valuable FARM LAND for this complex but we KNOW this complex will expand bringing global factories and global corporate campus footprints.
'For the residents of Humphreys -- eventually there will be more than 45,000 — there are creature comforts like a “super gym” and 18-hole golf course, a community center for arts, crafts and music, swimming pools, athletic fields, a movie theater, a bowling alley as well as a 200-room hotel for military personnel. This month a 300,000 sq. foot modern shopping center with a scores of restaurants and retail stores will open near the pedestrian-friendly town center'.
'To accommodate some of those families, up to a dozen 12-story modern housing towers are being built, furnished and designed for maximum comfort and convenience'.
These will become our permanently EX-PAT US citizens as the global military becomes ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE these bases will simply become FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE security and policing structures as are being built in our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones. Whether CA, TX, VA----these military bases are now morphing into US cities like Baltimore to become that police, security, fire----and it is all corporate----and the same extreme wealth extreme poverty is growing stronger.
WORLD'S BIGGEST GATED-COMMUNITIES HAVING LUXURY ITEMS TO REPLACE FREEDOM, LIBERTY, JUSTICE, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS? WE DON'T THINK SO!
Striving to be that high-ranking global mercenary private military corporate CEO/EXECUTIVE with great HOUSING----let's get back to being a strong US domestic economy where our US service citizens are respected, protected, and given great opportunity after leaving service.
Our 99% military citizens should be FIGHTING having their wages tied to 1960s poverty stats.
USAG Humphreys: The Story Behind America’s Biggest Overseas Base
As Trump visits, the new U.S. mega-base south of Seoul is almost complete.
By Jon Letman
November 06, 2017
At first glance, Humphreys looks like an ordinary American suburb. With K-12 schools, chapels, a library, a big box store, dental and veterinary clinics and a spacious plaza where kids can skateboard and eat ice cream, Humphreys could easily be in Dallas or Denver. It’s the security gates, razor-wire topped walls and the M1 Abrams tanks that stand out. U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys is, in fact, in Pyeongtaek, 40 miles south of Seoul, South Korea.
On a guided tour of Humphreys, Army Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Bob McElroy calls it “our little piece of America.” The Army calls it “the largest power projection platform in the Pacific.” Now in the final stage of a massive base expansion, when completed around 2020, Humphreys will have tripled in size to nearly 3,500 acres — roughly the size of central Washington, D.C. — making it the largest overseas American military base in the world, capping off over a dozen years of transformation and consolidation of the U.S. military footprint in South Korea.
Humphreys is a major helicopter base, home to a rotational Attack Reconnaissance squadron. Attack assets like Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters fly out of Humphreys mostly at night and the 8,000 foot long airfield is large enough to land C-130s or other fighter jets from nearby Osan Air Base.
The installation has a battle simulation center, small arms range, communications center, and motor pools for servicing Bradley Fighting Vehicles and battle tanks, all poised and constantly ready to “Fight Tonight” while, like any other municipality, managing its own public works, infrastructure, police, fire and real estate.
For the residents of Humphreys — eventually there will be more than 45,000 — there are creature comforts like a “super gym” and 18-hole golf course, a community center for arts, crafts and music, swimming pools, athletic fields, a movie theater, a bowling alley as well as a 200-room hotel for military personnel. This month a 300,000 sq. foot modern shopping center with a scores of restaurants and retail stores will open near the pedestrian-friendly town center.
In all, more than 650 new buildings have been built on what was once rice fields and farming villages. But beyond the saunas and Starbucks, the Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan are consolidating U.S. bases and other installations in Seoul and near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea.
During Korea’s Japanese colonial period (1910-45), Humpheys was a Japanese military base. At the end of World War II, the United States seized control, renaming the base “K-6” (Korean airfield No. 6) and later Camp Humphreys. Today Humphreys is home to U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Headquarters, the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and more than three dozen other mission units.
Humphreys also hosts rotational infantry, tank, and artillery battalion units who augment forces on the ground and train at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex using cannons, tanks and mortars near the heavily militarized DMZ.
The relocation to Humphreys includes soldiers from USAG Yongsan, USAG Red Cloud, Camp Casey, Eighth Army headquarters, and elements of the combined forces command and the Second Infantry Division, uniting 173 U.S. military camps from around the country.
The Army says the move to Humphreys means having to defend fewer sites and being further away from potential North Korean artillery strikes while improving “force posture and operational efficiency.”
A More “Normal” Tour
For many years, Humphreys was largely a single soldier post, but under a policy called tour normalization, USFK is encouraging families to join their soldiers in-country, hoping more spouses and kids will be a stabilizing force to counter so-called “camptown” problems like fighting, crime, sexual violence ,and prostitution near bases.
To accommodate some of those families, up to a dozen 12-story modern housing towers are being built, furnished and designed for maximum comfort and convenience.
Leading a media tour of the base, PAO McElroy explains how Humphreys expanded onto farm land granted by the Republic of Korea (ROK) government. He says Korean farmers were given cash settlements by the South Korean government and moved into new houses in the mid-2000s.
Media accounts from the time describe the forced relocations as land grabs accompanied by some of the largest and most violent anti-base protests in modern South Korean history. Dr. Andrew Yeo, an associate professor of politics at Catholic University of America, was there. He recalls farmers and families being evicted from the no longer extant villages of Daechu-ri and Dodu-ri.
“The [South Korean] Ministry of National Defense (MND) had acquired the land through a process of eminent domain…There was definitely land that was rice farms. I saw it with my own eyes; I walked there.” After leaving South Korea for several months, Yeo returned to find the former rice farms and villages cordoned off with barbed wire.
By late winter of 2006, Yeo explains, the ROK government was under increasing pressure from the U.S. to push the expansion project forward, a process delayed by clashes between police and protesters. As winter turned to spring, Yeo says, it became easier to accelerate the removal of protesters.
Yeo, who teaches a course on the politics of overseas U.S. bases, says it’s important for American citizens to understand the U.S.’s large overseas military presence and the cost to host countries.
“Even if, at the end of the day, you think bases are there to provide stability and security — we think about national security, but what about human security or, at the very local level, what cost was it to have this large infrastructure in place? It’s all part of the question of who defines peace and security.”
In the village of Songhwa-ri, surrounded by small vegetable fields just outside Humphreys, as large banners decrying helicopter noise flutter in the breeze, Korean activist Joyakgol reflects on the protests and living with a foreign military presence. He says Americans should learn about the impact of U.S. bases in this country slightly larger than Indiana. “In [South] Korea it’s a small country. If you have a huge military installation like Camp Humphreys, the people will have to live here and will be affected by the noise or the pollution or the crime so it’s very painful.”
Protest banners and flags flap in the breeze just beyond the walls of USAG Humphreys in Songhwa-ri village. The yellow flag reads “Change the flight path” in opposition to U.S. Army helicopters that regularly fly over houses at night, forcing villagers to close their windows. Photo by Jon Letman
No Free Ride
Described as the U.S. military’s largest peacetime construction project, up to 93 percent of the $10.7 billion cost of Humphrey’s expansion is being paid by South Korea under the Special Measures Agreement, which comes in addition to more than $800 million in support of the U.S. military presence in South Korea in 2016, a 50-50 split with the United States, according to a USFK Public Affairs Office spokesperson.
Last year General Vincent Brooks, now commander of USFK, made headlines when he stated that it’s cheaper to keep U.S. forces stationed in South Korea than in the United States while then mayor and presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung argued South Korea is paying too much to host U.S. forces.
Despite this, as early as 2011, President Donald Trump has been inaccurately claiming that South Korea doesn’t “pay us” for providing military defense. During the 2016 campaign he continued to falsely suggest U.S. allies weren’t paying “their fair share.” Last April the U.S. president sparked outrage when he called on South Korea to pay $1 billion for the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system which maker Lockheed Martin openly states is being deployed “to defend U.S. troops, allied forces, population centers, and critical infrastructure.”
Seoul’s willingness to pay so much for the U.S. military presence, McElory says, is “a sign of the strength of our alliance with the ROK.” He stresses the United States and South Korea share “an important alliance…an important mission,” adding, “we’re equal partners in it and we have each other’s interests at heart.”
Responding by email, Lee Mihyeon, coordinator of the Peace and Disarmament Center of the Seoul-based NGO People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, says her organization does not support Korean tax dollars paying for U.S. military forces: “Of course there are people who accept this expenditure with resignation, but most South Korean citizens are not okay with [it].”
Regarding the question of burden sharing, Dr. Daniel Pinkston, a lecturer on international relations at Troy University in Seoul, says, “The ROK is a democracy, so they can stop it if they want. But they are getting a good deal.”
Writing in an email, he suggests that in light of regional security threats, South Korea spending about 2.6 percent of its GDP on defense is reasonable. He calls South Korean expenditures to keep forward deployed U.S. Forces and credible extended deterrence “a really great bargain,” asking, “What would the alternative be?”
Newly built soldier housing, schools and other facilities as seen from the balcony of a 12-story residential tower. In 2006, the South Korean government forcibly relocated Korean farming villages in order to expand what will be America’s largest overseas military base. Photo by Jon Letman.
Deep Divisions Remain
In addition to the cost of paying for Humphreys’ expansion, Kang Song-won, director of the Pyeongtaek Peace Center, says that more than a decade after villagers were displaced, community divisions remain.
New infrastructure like wider roads near the base and real estate development for military off-base housing, Kang says, benefit U.S. forces, and specific business owners, not the greater community.
The size of the base, he adds, isn’t as important as it once was with the United States exercising a policy of strategic flexibility, meaning U.S. forces can be dispatched from South Korea to other countries as needed. For Kang and like-minded Koreans, being sandwiched between Osan Air Base and Humphreys means living with noise, crime, and a divided community.
When protests against Humphreys’ expansion raged over a decade ago, Kang was joined by Catholic priest and prominent peace activist Father Mun Jeong-hyeon. Father Mun, now 80 years old, still actively protests against U.S. and Korean militarism. “The U.S. military occupies so [much] land here and there,” Mun says. “We insist that U.S. troops should be out of Korea. We cannot allow the U.S. military to occupy Korean land anymore.”
Father Mun asks a simple question: “Why Korea was divided? Why USA is stationed in this country for a long time?”
Clubs and bars like the Drunk Bus cater to U.S. military personnel in the village of Anjeong-ri outside of USAG Humphreys. Camptown districts near overseas U.S. bases have a history of crime, prostitution and human trafficking. Photo by Jon Letman.
Ready or Not
Lanae Rivers-Woods, a U.S. citizen who has lived in Pyeongtaek teaching in a Korean public school for seven years, has watched how her own country’s military is changing her adopted home. She says the impact and the response defy simple explanations.
She describes indifference by many in her community for whom Pyeongtaek’s bases — USAG Humphreys and Osan Air Base — are all but nonexistent. She calls the situation “kind of surreal.”
Areas around the U.S. bases have little to offer Koreans, Rivers-Woods says, recalling her own experiences outside Osan Air Base.
“Generally, we all avoided those areas because they were violent and stressful,” she says. “The verbal sexual harassment the second you walked onto the main street [by the bases] was really stressful,” she says, calling it “really inappropriate” and “very uncomfortable.”
Today, however, that hostile atmosphere has changed dramatically according to Rivers-Woods, who calls the situation now “way more normal.”
But as Humphreys draws a huge influx of U.S. military personnel and their families, she worries about what she sees as a lack preparation by the military and the inability to integrate soldiers into Pyeongtaek’s civil community. In response, she has launched her own volunteer organization and created a smart phone app and blog to help military personnel adapt and better understand Korean culture.
“I don’t have anybody’s agenda,” she says, “I am just there to solve problems.”
Pyeongtaek faces many challenges beyond its role as a major military hub. Rivers-Woods points to massive industrial and commercial development, worsening traffic and poor air quality, and rapidly rising housing costs, which she says dwarf local concerns over the expanding military base. “If you saw the other development, you’d be like ‘why would I care about that base?’ I am pretty sure the entire base would fit in the one Samsung factory… We’ve got a lot of issues going on,” says Rivers-Woods.
New Samsung, LG and other large projects are expected to double Pyeongtaek’s population from the current 440,000 in several years’ time.
Kang Song-won of the Pyeongtaek Peace Center points toward USAG Humphreys in the distance as he explains how farmers were displaced by the expansion of the U.S. Army base. Photo by Jon Letman
Bridget Martin, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of California Berkeley, is currently living in South Korea studying how base consolidation and U.S. military spatial reorganization impact communities and local development projects.
She spends a lot of time meeting with South Korean government officials, examining how they want to use the land after it is returned by the United States. Projects include parks, restoration of natural areas and commercial ventures. After the United States returns land to the ROK government, it is primarily and controlled by government agencies like the Ministry of Financial Planning and the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
Local municipal governments may want that land but the MND charges market price for the former military sites and, as Martin explains, “No one can afford to do anything with [the land] and it’s already a very economically depressed area.” The result, she says, is a lot of unused, abandoned land.
Meanwhile, the Pyeongtaek municipal government has tried to present the Humphreys’ expansion and troop increase as an opportunity to spur growth, attract new investment and infrastructure development, and transform Pyeongtaek into an international city.
“There is a diversity of opinions in the Pyeongtaek city government for sure,” Martin says, “but the vision for the city kind of congealed around this utopian sort of military cosmopolitan space that I cannot imagine will ever pan out the way it is portrayed in the propaganda and planning material.”
Part of the U.S. military’s largest overseas base includes this newly-built pedestrian-friendly downtown plaza. The 3,454 acre installation will eventually be home to around 45,000 military personnel, their families, civilian contractors and Korean nationals. Photo by Jon Letman
Little Piece of America
Back inside USAG Humphreys, Bob McElroy drives along a main thoroughfare called Freedom Road where, even at a time of heightened rhetoric when the leaders of North Korea and the United States casually threaten each other with nuclear annihilation, life plugs along as usual. Soldiers maintain their vehicles, attack helicopters conduct night training exercises, and military families live a comfortable American lifestyle inside their fortified home.
McElroy says the upgraded base is a way to show appreciation for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who support the U.S.-ROK alliance, always ready to “fight tonight.” Whether there’s war or peace, the United States shows no sign it plans to leave Korea any time soon.
Surveying the installation from the balcony of a 12-story family housing tower, McElroy says, “It’s interesting to see how much it’s grown and how much it’s changed. It’s a great thing. It’s staggering when I think of the size of this thing and the fact that we built a city out of just farm fields, out of — not from nothing, there were villages out here — but we built it up from the ground up.”
Reviewing the expanded perimeters of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys on a map, this reporter points to Korean names and asks, “Are those villages?”
“They used to be,” McElroy answers, explaining a new vehicle maintenance facility is being built where the village of Daechu-ri once stood. Gesturing inside a thick black line on the large map, he says, “All of this is ours now.”
We want to add one last category of HOUSING----for our DISABLED. We spoke of our mental health/drug/prison REHABILITATION housing-----but what we are seeing as well is a SEPARATION by disability of US citizens. This is a very FAR-RIGHT WING FASCIST stance no matter how good media makes these developments look.
FIRST THEY CAME FOR-----very much hits our 99% US disabled citizens whether physical or mental. LEFT social progressive want EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HOUSING in each community to include facilities for our disabled.
Our seniors already often face depression at being placed in facilities separate from our general population. When we take this a step further and separate by disease vectors supposedly because it is more EFFICIENT-----we are not working in the interest of our 99% of WE THE PEOPLE.
We hope families dealing with what is a very difficult decline for our seniors consider how these structures can become REGRESSIVE AND REPRESSIVE.
These are FAKE religious corporations---OLD WORLD CATHOLIC MERCHANTS OF VENICE freemason working for global 1%.
Canada's first 'dementia village' to open in Langley next year
Canada’s first community designed specifically for people with dementia is opening next year in Langley.
It’s called The Village. Comprised of six, single-storey cottage-style homes and a community centre, The Village will be home to 78 people with dementia, an umbrella term that includes people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases associated with aging. Care will be provided by 72 specially trained staff.
Project leader Elroy Jespersen said The Village’s design was inspired by Hogeweyk, the world’s first dementia village, in The Netherlands.
Jespersen, the vice-president of special projects for Verve Senior Living, said The Village builds on the other assisted- and extended-care communities he has developed during the past 29 years.
Artist illustration of The Village, a community specifically designed for up to 78 people with dementia. It will be the first of its kind in Canada. PNG
“We’ve really designed and tried to build communities where people could be independent and live their own life their way,” Jespersen said. “And by and large we were able to do that — with the one exception when somebody developed dementia and they could no longer live safely in our communities. We thought we should add another piece to that to allow them to stay within, if you will, our ‘family’ of communities.”
The Village is at 3920 198th St., which is known as the Old Bradshaw Elementary School site.
Groundbreaking is Wednesday, and Jesperson said he expects The Village to be finished by April 2019.
“What makes The Village different from traditional nursing homes … is that residents will be able to shop, have a coffee, walk their dog, get their hair cut and take part in activities such as gardening by themselves,” Jespersen said.
Three of the cottages will be designed to allow a couple to live together, and the other three will have an extra guest room for short-term stays for people with dementia.
Living in the privately funded project won’t be cheap. Jespersen said he is still working on final numbers, but he estimates it will cost between $190 to $245 a day per person, or $6,000 to $7,500 a month.
“People will say that’s a lot of money, and it absolutely is a lot of money,” he said. “It’s about the same amount of money we would get from the government if the government funded us to provide care. That’s what it costs to do what we’re doing.”
Jespersen said The Village would be open to working with government to make it more affordable to people so that there is a real community of people of different income levels.
The world’s first “dementia village” is Hogeweyk outside of Amsterdam, where 152 people live in 23 houses on 3.7 acres. Residents can walk the streets, squares and gardens and go to a theatre and grocery store.
In Hogeweyk, the buildings are designed so they create a border that allows residents to wander safely within the property. Access is controlled by a single entry and exit.
The Village will have a similar design, but in a rural setting on five acres. The site will be surrounded by an eight-foot perimeter fence designed to blend in with its surroundings.
Jespersen said The Village has been designed to give people “unfettered access to the outside.” All the residences are at ground level so no one has to negotiate steps to enter their home. No locks on doors also allows residents freedom to move.
“Everyone comes in through one door in the community centre … and they leave that way,” he said. “Once you’re beyond that, people can move about, sit on the benches, and go wherever the path leads.”
The Village includes a barn that could be home to chickens and other farm animals, but that will be up to the residents to decide, Jespersen said.
“If we’re going to give more than lip-service to person-directed living, we can’t say we’re going to do this, this and this. Until we have people living there, we don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said. “We do know that most people have pets in their lives. If you have a pet, they’re welcome to come to The Village with you. If you don’t, we can arrange to have pets. I hope there will be a bit of a menagerie.”
In Metro Vancouver, another dementia village is being planned by Providence Health Care on the St. Vincent’s Hospital site at Heather Street and West 33rd. Not expected to open for several years, the village would be home to more than 300 people with dementia. Providence Health Care operates several health facilities, including St. Paul’s Hospital and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.