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Jun-05-2007 12:15printcomments

Oregon Troops Home From War are Under Lockdown at Fort Carson

A number of Oregon Guard troops who have been at war in Afghanistan for the last year are unhappy about being placed in "a lockdown status" at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Oregon Guard soldiers from the 41st Combat Brigade Team at a remote combat base in Afghanistan
Oregon Guard soldiers from the 41st Combat Brigade Team at a remote combat base in Afghanistan
Photo by: Tim King

(Salem, Ore.) - Though some believe it is typical for returning soldiers to be detained for a short while when first returning to the country, Oregon Guard soldiers home from the war in Afghanistan have been cooling their heals for more than just a few days at Fort Carson, Colorado, and many family members back in Oregon say it is the wrong way to treat people who have been through a year at war.

Salem-News.com was contacted by a family member of one of the Oregon Guard soldiers with this message Monday:

"Someone should investigate the treatment our Oregon Guardsman are getting at Ft. Carson, CO RIGHT NOW! They are there to demobilize (physicals, pay, etc.), but are being treated like POWs. Locked down behind wire fences, etc. someone needs to look into this ASAP! It's disgraceful!"

One email from an Oregon Guard family member to our newsroom, states that the soldiers have made repeated requests to visit a few historic sites off the base. Those requests were denied.

A spokesperson from Fort Carson says the base will not transport soldiers off base to historic sites because of the damage caused by military trucks on Colorado roads. They could not answer whether or not another vehicle, like a bus, could be utilized to allow the soldiers to go off base.

While none of these soldiers are in possession of their personal automobiles, having just stepped off an airplane from Afghanistan, the base command apparently still believes they are capable of causing problems in the community.

"If one soldier gets a DUII at Fort Carson" a spokesperson said, "They will be staying at Fort Carson and not returning to Oregon any time soon."

The spokesperson from Fort Carson says the policy which they refer to as a "Restriction of movement" in official terms, is an effort to keep the soldiers contained as they go through a multi-step demobilization process.

The 1st Mobilization Brigade soldiers at Fort Carson are responsible for putting these troops through the demobilization process, where they go over medical records and make sure that all of the returning soldier's needs are being addressed.

Fort Carson, Colorado

Frustrations are tested en masse for these Oregon soldiers from the 41st Combat Brigade, as the trip back from Afghanistan takes three to four days under current military transport standards. Five more days of restricted movement is something that appears to be sitting poorly with most of them.

The soldiers have completed a yearlong combat tour in Afghanistan. Many of them, particularly those in the infantry, have been involved in multiple enemy contacts and many have lost friends.

These are the soldiers who are under lockdown in Colorado.

They are presently under the command of the 1st Army, and their Western Division Headquarters are based at Fort Carson. Brig. General Norman Anderson of the 1st Division apparently created the rule that the soldiers who return from the war would have five days of restricted movement, not be allowed basic liberties afforded to regular Army personnel who are based there.

The Army and Brig. Gen. Anderson apparently believe that this restriction is the best way to manage these soldiers who have returned home from war, but some say it is a potential slap in the face for Oregon Guard soldiers, known for their professionalism in a war where they were trusted to carry a live weapon everywhere they went for 365 days.

During the Vietnam War, soldiers were shipped straight back from the war to their homes via civilian airports. The extended days of demobilization are a vast change in policy from that period now more than 30-years ago.

The Oregon Guard soldiers are expected to ship out toward the end of the week, the Oregon Guard confirms that a flight still has not been arranged.




Comments

Internal Comments are Closed on this story.



Mustafa July 21, 2008 6:55 am (Pacific time)

It is good to keep these dudes on lockdown, so they cant harm someone in the community. theyre probably brain damaged and have been exposed to dangerous materials, so they have to get their brains wahed by the military before they are allowed out to the community.


For the love of my SOLDIER July 15, 2007 8:38 am (Pacific time)

Ft Carson should be investigated!! The love of my life was in Afghanistan for one year tour, (W/ the 1-180th 45th INF)then Ft Carson for one month for Demob. Ft Carson treated the soldiers terrible! Its not hard for me to say that Ft. Carsons misconduct was harder on the soldiers than the war. Its not only hard on the soldiers but the families too!!I this because I have heard alot of the soldiers and their families talk about this! I remember talking on the phone with my soldier and him telling me that this is not Demob this is torcher. My soldier had been home for a month and a half, he is still trying to demob...They where treated like prisoners, kids in detention, peices of crap!! . Dont get me wrong I am so thankful to have him home but it is still so hard to get over how Ft Carson was and is to our heros. (I am not trying to blame every soldier that is stationed there but the ones that where suppost to have leadership THAT IS Who Im BLAMING!!) My soldier and I are both police officers in civilian life and we have never treated anyone with the disrespect that Ft Carson has treated the soldiers.. It makes me sick when I think about it!They where and are getting treated worse on their home soil than at the war front. Just because one soldier wants to break the rules doesnt mean you have to punish everybody else and their families too........:(( And to the person that says " SHUT UP AND SUPPORT OUR TROOPS " What in the hell do you think we are are doing?!! This is not bucking the system, this is telling it like it is!!! Thank you to all our soldiers!! God Bless we LOVE YOU!! And to the person that put up this site- I salute you! Thanks


still coming home June 11, 2007 2:54 am (Pacific time)

I have heard that it is reported that ALL troops have returned home!! Well this is a suprise to the MORE than 200 that are sitting in Afghanistan RIGHT NOW!!!! Want to see what demob is like JOIN US AT CARSON ON THE 13TH!!


army wife June 8, 2007 7:52 am (Pacific time)

New issue. The 2nd flight is arriving at 5:45 a.m. on Sunday. For those that live in the Portland area, that's not a problem. For those that live in K Falls or LaGrande or Bend or Newport, that's an overnight trip. Are they offering lodging for the familes? No. Does the military benefit from the families picking these soldiers up rather than transporting to their homes? Yes. So take care of these people for criminy sake! Another last(ing) impression!


mike June 8, 2007 7:04 am (Pacific time)

so what if one of these guys flips his lid, then you would be bitchin' "why were these guys not held for a few days and checked out"holy crap -these guys need to unwind in a controlled atmosphere.


SFC 41 BCT June 7, 2007 7:16 pm (Pacific time)

First let me say I have 22yrs of service almost half of which is active duty Army Soldier you need to let some air out of your high flyin balloon and come back to reality, you sound like a REMF. If you read the stars and stripes you will know the story of the 11 Ft Carson soldiers who broke into a soldiers off post home and assaulted both he and his wife.... did the whole post go into lock down? was the chain of command punished? no and no, this happened with in the last 30 days. I spent my time in Afghanistan down range at remote FOB's most with no latrine, no running water, no shower, no food except what we cooked for ourselves, get the picture where were you army soldier? I know all to well what happens when "the few" wreck it for all, and all this crap about "they need to go through their briefings and med checks" well guess what they are cursory at best and golly they don't last all day and night, so why shouldn't these heros of Oregon be able to have a beer?, or visit some local area attraction? after the briefings and work day has ended, that would be a way to decompress, not sit and stare at the walls inside the beauty of a new building. We get herded around like cattle and then after we do get home we are supposed to be fine, because we after all did get our check up and briefings!!! THIS IS NOT MY FIRST DEPLOYMENT NOR WILL IT BE MY LAST... The idea of punish those that break the rules is as ineffective as the leaders who cant enforce it or the rulse that are broke, so they cop out to the easiest thing "punish all" These briefings and time spent in this upcoming 5day lockdown is no way to "decompress" I am all for rules and regs but what I can't stand is treating a soldier with "ANY" amount of disrespect...PERIOD before or after a deployment.


Anonymous June 7, 2007 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

I agree as well that they are treating our soldiers as prisoners, I think this is making there mental and emotional well being worse than probably what it was to begin with, I know that it's making this difficult on me and our son. They should have had the flights planned out ahead of time, knowing that these guys were returning I hope to God My husband will never again volunteer and gets out of the military. I am about to drive out to Ft. Carson and pick him up myself.


Ariel June 7, 2007 3:27 pm (Pacific time)

Ok, so they have somewhat fixed one problem...now they are bringing one group of soldiers home on Saturday. The question now is are the soldiers who demob at Ft. Carson in the future going to get any better treatment??


Justin June 7, 2007 10:25 am (Pacific time)

Yes it sucks, but what is 5 more days after a year of being deployed? Yes the troops want to go out and have fun, but as the story states, there are processes the soldiers must go through before going home, especially medical and psychological evaluations. I just hope the soldiers are able to hit up the class six for a case of beer and allowed a little leisure while they complete their "ins and outs" before going home.


retired soldier! June 6, 2007 9:52 pm (Pacific time)

WHOAAAA! to Double Standards! I would guess that this is also the reason there is no aparent sense of urgency on the part of Ft. Carson to get these Guardsmen/women home in a timely manner, either! It's my understanding they still don't have a confirmed return flight - even on Sunday!


Double Standard June 6, 2007 9:24 pm (Pacific time)

I would like one question answered by "Army Soldier, who in my opinion is more likely than not a representative of 1st Army because they have very specific details of the incident that most Soldiers don't know. Are Active Component Soldiers that demobilize at Ft Carson also subject to the same restrictions that are placed on 41 BCT (no drinking and not being able to leave Ft Carson)? Instead of waiting for "Army Soldier" to respond, I will answer the question. The answer is "no." How many 4 ID Soldiers or other Soldiers assigned to Ft Carson have been involved in misconduct at Ft Carson or in the Colorado Springs area? A quick Google search mentions Ft Carson Soldiers involved in DUIIs, child abuse, and possible war crimes. Because of some Ft Carson Soldiers misconduct, are all of the Soldiers assigned to Ft Carson prohibited from leaving post or drinking? Where was the Ft Carson leadership while their Soldiers were alledgedly committing these crimes? Is this a reflection of poor leadership, or is it statistically acceptable that a certain percentage of Soldiers get in trouble? I have been on active duty before, and been in the Army for a long time. All units have a certain percentage of Soldiers that get in trouble or cause trouble. It is very simply a fact of life regardless the quality of leadership. Don't ask us to go to war and do everything that Active Component Soldiers do, but treat us differently when we come home. According to the briefings that you provided to 41 BCT, Ft Carson has the highest rate of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) in the Army, so don't act like 1st Army leadership is any better than any other unit in the Army. Does the 1st Army leadership have a difficult time preventing their Soldiers from getting into trouble and avoid STDs, or are their Soldiers just like everybody else? This is a perfect example of Active Component arrogance that has been displayed for a long time, but is getting progressively worse as the Global War on Terrorism continues. "Army Soldier" is apparently willing to make sure that all 1st Army's story is told, but refuses to air their dirty laundry and admit that they are treating the 41 BCT Soldiers like second class Soldiers.


Another Carson Soldier June 6, 2007 7:07 pm (Pacific time)

I'm currently at FT Carson, and appreciate Tim's story. It is accurate in all respects and the comments posted here do add additional information behind the reason for the lock down. The bottom line however remains that we are stuck here, restricted to post because of the misconduct of a few. The military has responded by locking everyone down as a preventative measure. Right or wrong? I guess that's up for debate, but many of the soldiers here are quite discouraged by this, and morale is low. Aggravating this situation is that for a multitude of reasons, the normal 3-4 day stay here has turned into a week for some 300 soldiers. 3-4 of those days are filled with the demobilization process, but there are no planned activities on the other days. Consequently, soldiers are instead milling about the barracks or taking trips to the post facilities (PX, bowling alley, etc). To be certain, once we are all home with our families, the frustration will fade. But until then, we are just left with counting down the days.


Family of a 41st soldier June 6, 2007 5:26 pm (Pacific time)

I think all of the concentration camps in Europe were brand new when they were first occupied too... I don't think Army soldier is quite who he says he is, more like a tool for the general who caused all this.


Tim King June 6, 2007 4:14 pm (Pacific time)

Army soldier- I do appreciate your information. I think you make many good points, and I am glad that you are here to represent another side of the story. I am concerned about the reports detailing certain shortages at Ft. Carson which I think the Army could address, but I understand they are not necessarily related to this issue. I concede that too many bad apples are a problem, that is undeniable, I am just sad to see things progressing this way. In a million years we will probably not agree but being respectful is good.

I do have a problem with the notion of the soldiers at Ft. Carson being a danger to an onbase facility. Where are the MP's, aren't they doing their jobs in our all-volunteer military force? Can they not lock the doors on these new buildings ten miles away from anything else? In Afghanistan where weapons are stored in buildings, there are no barbed wire fences or guard and those people are poor. They could steal one or two weapons and sell them to the ACM and make the equivalent of a year's salary.

I think the Army went overboard on this one and that it will be a bad memory for a lot of these soldiers who have been through so much already. People need to behave but alcoholics make up a percentage of our population and the military carries part of it. I sure hope you don't think these are new problems in any way. They have been going on since the dawn of time. Our vets from Vietnam were spit on and these soldiers return to their country to be locked behind a barbed wire fence. I suppose it is better, but on a level of humanity, it is not good enough for the honorable forces of the 41st Combat Brigade Team, and most of the family members contacting us agree.


Michele June 6, 2007 4:13 pm (Pacific time)

I think we are all over the board here and missing the point. Clearly we all have our own point of view, and this is very close to each of us in it's own way. Yes, there is much room for improvement. As these soldiers return to Oregon, we'll greet them with flags, cheers, throw our arms around them and welcome them home. And this article will be behind us. Thanks for hearing me out.


Army Soldier June 6, 2007 4:01 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. King, I will clarify. The 4 building with the barbed wire fence is locked when the buildings are not occuppied or in use. When unoccupied, the fence is locked. It keeps the dishonest Soldiers from stealing. Just like in the civilian community with our homes and property. Nothing more, nothing less. When the buildings are occupied, the fence is open for all. Mr. King have you visited the facility where the 41st BCT is currently residing? It's not a concentration camp or prison or even run down. It's brand new with new furniture, wall lockers, etc. It will soon have cable and telephones. You mention one or two bad apples, but when multiple units have one or two bad apples, it becomes buschels and a huge problem..Army wide. Maybe if the returning Soldiers behaved like adults when they were allowed to consume alcohol (yes, an exception to policy was initially approved and granted to the 41st BCT then recinded after unprofessinal and lewd behavior by the demobilizing Soldiers), there would not be an issue with the returning heroes from the 41st BCT. Your personal political views in this situation are irrelevent to a Soldier's behavior in a civilian community. What ever happened to a man or woman just behaving like adults? Adults do not urinate in public for all to see and certainly do not assault taxi drivers or law enforcement personnel. I do have one question for the readers: Where was this Soldiers chain of command when the Police were giving the Soldier a break by not arresting him initially? I believe they were in a restaurant having dinner. His own leadership seemed to be too busy relaxing than keeping a subordinate Soldier from jail. The accommodations are not this issue here. Some Soldiers of the 41st BCT did not lead by example and live the Army Values while at Fort Carson plain and simple.


Tim King June 6, 2007 3:50 pm (Pacific time)

Michele, We can go around and around on this if that is what we choose to do. I frankly don't know what is being gained though. You really think it is outrageous that I suggest soldiers fighting and dying in a war should be allowed to drink a beer? Time for a reality check I think.

As an 18-year old marine my friends and I were beaten senseless by the NCO's at El Toro, and I think that probably paled in comparison to what the guys at Camp Pendleton went through. We were forced to wade in a ruptured bag of jet fuel so the pump could drain it out, the bottom of my black friend's feet turned green and stayed that way for days, and we were sick.

My point is that the military makes as many bad problems and decisions as it does good ones. If the media just "remains silent" on issues like this, then who will advocate? With apparent blind faith you are happy with the status quo, I am not, most of the families are not. I think it is my job to bring this up as a subject. The military does NOT always know what they are doing and this is proof of that.


Michele June 6, 2007 3:31 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, you have heard from two soldiers now who were at Ft Carson and both have said it is not that bad. That has to count for something. I bet every reader here has been to a military active duty base. And there is barbed wire in places. It is to keep places secure. In this situation, where our soldiers are at, has this up. Our guys will not be the last to demob there - do the soldiers see it the way you guys are calling it out? I am sure it was not put up just for the sake of our soldiers, and probably serves another purpose. Many of our soldiers have been exposed to things and need to decompress before they are released. Give them that opportunity. Us civilians can say what we want to about this, but the military knows what they are doing. This is not the first deployment nor will it be the last. We can agree to disagree with them. Give them a beer or two to calm their nerves is your answer to this?


retired soldier June 6, 2007 3:23 pm (Pacific time)

So, it seems the answer is - bring them home. If they're done with what they're doing there, bring them home and let them unwind with their families and friends instead of being treated like POWs. I'm sure that whatever the delay is in the air transportation - the immediate cost of extended payroll for these soldiers and the long-term costs in retention far outweigh buying them individual tickets home. Someone needs to take care of these heros - maybe a travel agency and/or airline can figure out a way to get 150 soldiers home in the next 2 days.


Tim King June 6, 2007 2:33 pm (Pacific time)

I was going to write another story on this but I think the comment section has it covered. It does seem to strike most people related to the Oregon Guard's 41st BCT that the soldiers are not being afforded the benefit of the doubt or the respect they deserve.

I certainly understand how a community wants a certain degree of peace, but this is a military community and if anyone reads the news, they know that there is an extremely small ratio of mental health councilors at Ft. Carson compared to the returning number of soldiers. This specific concern was brought to the attention of Gates himself earlier this year.

The corporate interests like Haliburton have swallowed up the massive amounts of money American taxpayers are handing over for these two wars, and those funds could have been used for adequate transportation, better morale and recreation opportunities, etc. But instead these soldiers are isolated and locked behind a barbed wire fence? The last person describing himself as an Army soldier writes: "Is there a barbed wire fence around the four buildings 'Yes'. It's not to keep the Soldiers in but to keep the dishonest Soldiers out."

I have no idea what the person is trying to say, but it makes no sense either way.

Well soldier, I call foul. See it as you will, this is a disgraceful treatment for my brother and sister Oregonians and the friends I made in Afghanistan with the Oklahoma Guard. It seems that you are more concerned about the action of one or two bad apples which are found in every situation, than your fellow soldiers. Did anyone think that a protracted set of wars like this would bring different results? Maybe they should allow our soldiers to have a beer or two in these places to calm their nerves so they aren't so would up when they get home.


Army Soldier June 6, 2007 2:06 pm (Pacific time)

I have just read the news article and the comments on line and I agree.....not all of the information is included. One Soldier did assault a Colorado Springs Policeman, but this incident was actually the last straw. All Demobilizing Soldiers were briefed/counseled on behavior as to drinking alcohol, sneaking off Post illegally etc. The fact is there was plently of violations with alcohol consumption and juvinelle behavior that were not reported to the chain of command for publication. The Soldier who assaulted the Police Officer will be dealt with in both a civil and military court. The Police Officer who was assualted attempted to give the returning Soldier a break by not arresting him for unrinating in public. The Police turned the Soldier over to a fellow senior ranking Soldier who is partly to blame here by not ensuring the Soldier made it back safely to Fort Carson. The drunken Soldier assaulted the taxi driver who was taking him back to Fort Carson from Colorado Springs. The taxi driver turned his car around and brought him back to the Police Officer. The Taxi driver did not want to press assualt charges on a Soldier just returning from war. The Soldier then assaulted the Police Officer and he was arrested. The Soldier's own chain of command let the soldier down a bit here and the remaining demobilizing soldiers are paying the price a bit. Too harsh??? What about the Colorado Springs community? Does the community have to put up with this lewd behavior? This is not the first incident from any returning Soldier from Iraq and Afghanistan violating the local community. Did any reader even think about this? We talk about our heroes(as we should), but what about their behavior when they return? As far as the housing accommodations...the returning Soldiers are being housing is brand new facilities. The 41st BCT is the first to occupy the facility. Is there a barbed wire fence around the four buildings 'Yes'. It's not to keep the Soldiers in but to keep the dishonest Soldiers out. There are still some building issues that need to be completed like telephone service and television cable are just two. With that said, the building meets or exceeds the living standards for Army Soldiers. As far as the transportation issue...every attempt is made to have the Soldiers depart as soon as possible after all of the briefs, physical and mental evaluations are complete. Heaven forbid, but how would the media respond if a Soldier was not properly given their due process? So what should it be: ensure the Soldier receives all entitlements or...provide a tour service to Historical Colorado Springs? The 41st BCT's behavior is nothing new to the Army. It's not the first nor is it the last. It appears in this instance the restrictive policies are in place to protect the 41st BCT Soldiers from themselves and their behavior.


one more June 6, 2007 8:59 am (Pacific time)

One more issue - those of that don't live in "the valley" have quite a commute to pick up our soldiers. Plus, we have to spend a night in a hotel before we can come home. All of this takes prior planning for our jobs, kids, pets, etc. It's not as if we can get a call and dash up I-5. It is extremely stressful.


Ariel June 5, 2007 11:59 pm (Pacific time)

Michele, it was rude of me to say what I did and I apologize. Yes, we are all awaiting their return, but it is difficult to be patient when we have been waiting so long and dates keep changing. I agree that we are all on the same team and Tim has done a tremendous job reporting about our soldiers and it is much appreciated by so many. Thank you so much for your devotion to the troops Tim.


Michele June 5, 2007 9:26 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, thank you for your continued report. We are all on the same team. Let's encourage these guys and the families while we all "patiently" await their safe return to Oregon.


Tim King June 5, 2007 9:16 pm (Pacific time)

To Just returned from Ft. Carson- thanks for clarifying, I think I will run another story tomorrow to keep adding information. I appreciate what you said, I do think I shoot from the hip when it comes to troop support, and it also sounds like you are aware of the fact that I really care about the people we are talking about. I understand that the story was not complete and I appreciate your help. As far as the actions of one person affecting so many, I agree that there are different ways to interpret that. The tone of the people contacting me was what injected the passion, I am helpless when it comes to that.

Michele; thanks for clarifying, it is obvious we are all on the same team

Thanks again, Tim


Michele June 5, 2007 9:15 pm (Pacific time)

I am only asking everyone to get the facts before you pass judgement on the military. Do I like this situation, no. Do I agree with it, no. The delay in returning, and the lock down - the military is doing what they feel is best. Right or wrong, we give them that right to be in charge. We have to trust that. And yes, I too have been effected by this. Tim, thank you for reporting. I admire your time spent in Afghanistan. Ft Carson is not as bad as it has been made out to be though. And for those that are uniformed, it is sad to leave this lasting impression.


Just returned from Ft Carson June 5, 2007 8:51 pm (Pacific time)

Well I have to be honest about why there is the lock down for various reasons, but the fact is that when I was in Carson last week at the DEMOB site I was on lock down too. Why you ask, some idiot from another state decided that he was going to break general order #1, NO DRINKING. Well guess what, this guy (who might have been in the Army for years, was supposed to be an adult, should have known how to follow the rules) decided that he was going to sneak into to town and get blind drunk and start a fight with the local law enforcement(first mistake). This was later proven to be fact by his battle buddies. The idiot then drank himself stupid, started a fight at the bar, was kicked out. Started a fight with the cabby that was going to drive him back on post, was kicked out and the Colorado Springs police department were called in to deal with said soldier. He did in fact hit one of the police officers(mistake #2), and he was arrested. This was the last straw for Carson, the end result was lock down. Do I think it was fair, NO. Do I think it was necessary, YES. Not for all the soldiers like myself, but for a few idiots that ruined it for everyone. So lets talk about the military not taking care of the soldiers (ref: C. June 5, 2007 5:31 pm) what would have happened if the solider who got drunk would have gotten behind the wheel of a car? He could have killed himself or worse someone else. Then would you be complaining that the military didn’t do enough? It's UCMJ by the way. Tim, I don’t think that Michele was bothered that you were sticking up for them, I think that she was more referring to the fact that you were portraying the living conditions as less then third world. Well I was at Carson last week. It wasn’t. In fact it was fine. I hated being on lock down, but some guys will do stupid things and would really hurt someone. Tim I think what you did for the whole time that you did it was awesome, I salute you. I am don’t have a issue with what you said, just you didn’t say WHY they are in lock down.


army wife June 5, 2007 8:40 pm (Pacific time)

Here's an update: Apparenty the incident that caused this "restriction" occured in one of the earliest groups (may be the first). This is group 5 there now. Group 6 arrived today. "They" may be holding group 5 up purposefully to combine the flight home with 6, but no other group has been delayed this long - and we're talking about 150 soldiers and how many family members being impacted? They did relax the restrictions somewhat. They are providing buses to come from their camp (approx. 5 miles off the main post) into main post. They can go bowl and to the PX, but no alcohol. They have no TV, internet or telephones where they are - supposedly the PX sold approx. 400 cell phones today for these guys to call their families. They are open bay barracks, fairly new, and they have adequate bathroom/shower facilities. Oklahoma Guard is so disgusted with the air transportaiton situation that they have opted to take their people home in charter buses. If only Colorado was closer to Oregon - that would be a plan for our soldiers. The OR Guard strongly discouraged family members from flying to Colorado to meet their soldiers there. So people here are more anxious than ever. This should be treated with more urgency as it will be the last thing the soldiers remember about their tour to Afghanistan - what a screwed up mess coming home was.


Raven June 5, 2007 7:23 pm (Pacific time)

My heart goes out to these soldiers, who have to wait even longer to get home. Our government should find a way to get these folks home in a much more timely manner.


Army Wife aka Ariel June 5, 2007 6:17 pm (Pacific time)

I have talked mostly about the soldiers getting home when they were told they would, but, yes, I know that more importantly is the way they are being treated. These soldiers had more freedom in a country where they were at risk for getting killed everywhere they went. Let's get them away from the danger, then lock them down, that makes sense. I sure wouldn't want a group of pissed off soldiers on my hands, especially ones who just came back from war. Supporting our soldiers should mean treating them like they just sacrificed their lives for us, not like they are endangering our lives.


Army Wife June 5, 2007 5:31 pm (Pacific time)

Michele- Is your husband at Ft. Carson? I am guessing not. If you have a spouse that was even on this deployment, he is probably already home right? Let the military do their job is what you say? If they were doing their job they would have had their ducks in a row in order to get our guys out of Ft. Carson on schedule. You are correct in saying that Ft. Carson is better than Afghanistan, but why give them time off in a place where they are treated like prisoners instead of getting their jobs done correctly and getting them home so they can spend time with their families? The military is not doing their jobs to the best of their ability!


C. June 5, 2007 5:31 pm (Pacific time)

The leadership that are with the 41st are not running the show in Colorado and they are also being detained. And the reason is probably a soldier or two who got into trouble, and guess what, they are already home, in the first 4 groups, but the last two groups are being punished like bunch of delinquents just so the 1st Division Commander doesn't look bad and can maybe dig out a flight that should have been arranged prior. Our soldiers should not be treated like this, most of them have been in the military for years, and have been on other deployments. They are not recruits entering Basic that have to be held accountable for any other soldiers’ actions. If there was a problem with a soldier in the first groups let USMCJ punish them. I think the media has every right to report the inconsistencies of how they are being “taken care of”. It is ridiculous to even condone it and say “just let the military do their job”.


Tim King June 5, 2007 4:47 pm (Pacific time)

The person named Michele can state her view, I personally think "supporting the troops" means "don't question anything" to some, and we're bound to make those people unhappy around here, because we call each story out of honesty and a desire to inform. For the record, we received significantly more than "a phone call" - that is an assumption on Michelle's part, and nothing was published until an attempt was made to reach all involved parties.

So Michele, did I "exploit" the wrong things as I froze my way through last winter with the Oregon Guard in Afghanistan? These very soldiers now in lockdown? If anything, this could be more disgraceful than my article implies, they are being kept ten miles from other people on the base. I'm glad you aren't losing sleep over their hardship, but I am curious as to why my sticking up for them bothers you?


Michele June 5, 2007 4:44 pm (Pacific time)

Unfortunately this story is lacking the reason behind this "lock down". So let's quit bashing the system and let the military do their job. Where they are now is a heck of a lot better in so many ways than where they were. Leadership in CO has also been away from their families for over a year. This type of article is nothing but exploiting a phone call and what they perceive to be true. Keep SUPPORTING our troops - ALL OF THEM.


Charlene June 5, 2007 4:37 pm (Pacific time)

This is just another reason why my husband is NOT re-enlisting. I just talked to him about this and he said, " after the sacrifice that they have given for their country, it is wrong to be treated like this. It's degrading!" He also confirmed that the area that they are confined to is fenced and topped with barbed wire, and that the gate is guarded. The Brig. General's rule for their restricted movement is a sorry excuse to cover the Army's rear end. Besides, MB #5's five days would be up on the 8th. So, yay, they get two days off inside of a prison camp, waiting for a flight back home. I don't think this is the way that our heroes should be treated!


Sue June 5, 2007 3:25 pm (Pacific time)

Another disgrace directed at our soldiers. Our administration has no idea what "supporting the troops" means. To them it is just a sound bite. BRING THEM ALL HOME NOW!!!


Army Wife June 5, 2007 2:59 pm (Pacific time)

I agree it is a slap in the face that our soldiers are being treated like prisoners. Not only that, but my husband is at Ft. Carson right now and they keep getting told different days that they will be coming home. They should be better at scheduling flights for the soldiers to come home considering they knew when they would arrive there and how much time they would spend there. We want our soldiers home and they want to get home, yet they are being held longer and longer and they are very unhappy people right now. Our military really should be better at getting things done.


anonymous June 5, 2007 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

5 days of restricted movement? They've been there since June 3rd and are now being told they won't return to Oregon until June 10th! Meanwhile, they're in lockdown.

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