*warning, rant ahead, I have to get it out of my system. Just in case you think I always love Army life*
We came home today from a whirlwind road trip to see my mother-in-law. It was fine. I complained about going and then felt guilty because it went well and my poor MIL is lonely and obviously missed us. I am a rotten daughter-in-law. Moving on.
When we arrived back in the neighborhood, we were greeted with all sorts of talk… the latest scuttlebutt, updates on who is moving when, and disturbingly, one of my permanent party neighbors had some real news.
It turns out that because of BRAC (Base Realignment And Closure) there are two generals moving here soon that will need quarters. Our street is very close to the homes where the current CG and his deputy (another general) live. So housing has decided to move two families on our street out of their homes, remove the public playground in between them, and change the homes to befit their rank. Mostly by giving them bigger private yards.
I shouldn’t care, really I shouldn’t. I’m leaving and it doesn’t affect me. But it really irks me that a) they moved both of these families in within the past 6-8 months and now they are forcing them to move again and b) that playground is the only one nearby for kids.
I don’t have a big neighborhood (it’s really only about 2 streets if you count the current generals). We joke about how the rest of us live on the “ghetto side” of the street. We are mostly student officer families intermingled with a few permanent party officers. But let me just tell you we have a lot of kids. We also have had a lot of trouble with people speeding down our back alley. We have tiny yards and a busy street in front. That playground is well used, every single day.
They are building all sorts of new housing and facilities elsewhere on this post, why on earth couldn’t they build new general’s quarters? The type of house you receive on post is determined by rank, and I understand the reasons for that. One of which is that your BAH (housing allowance) also varies by rank, so just like $1200 in rent will get you a different place than $600, that’s the idea with your Army house. But why do they need to sacrifice something used by so many to give a general and his family (who usually don’t have small children in need of playing space) a huge yard? Just to keep all the brass together?
I don’t get it. Surely there must have been some sort of alternative. And now because almost all of our street is turning over for PCS season, no one will take the time to object. It will likely already be in progress by the time the next people come here, find out and try to say anything about it. My neighbors have all mostly checked out and tell me that “It’s not your problem anymore.” I know, it’s just a playground, but it’s a quality of life issue for all those families who will live here after me. Although I’m not sure what I can do other than write a letter. Pissing in the wind, I’m afraid. Add this one to the list of things, “When I am in charge of the Army…”
Oh, but I wish I could be here the first morning they are awakened by the cannon. Welcome to the ‘hood… sir.