Courtesy of The Town Talk Written by: Jodi Belgard
Friends and neighbors John Setnicky and Robert McMahon sat at the picture window in the Million Air terminal at England Air Park swapping war stories and awaiting the arrival of three of the most famous airplanes ever to fly.
Stakeholders are gearing up for "a long fight" to protect Fort Polk in Vernon Parish from personnel losses as the armed services cut forces over the next several years.
"This is not a fight that's going to be over by the summer or the fall," said Jon Grafton, executive director of the England Authority, which operates England Airpark. "We want to fight like crazy to make sure everybody understands the importance of Fort Polk."
DeRidder – A public meeting will be held on Friday March 8 from 2-4 p.m. at the War Memorial Civic Center located at 250 W. 7th. Street in DeRidder to hear updates and gather information on the proposed Army Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Fort Polk.
LEESVILLE-Leaders from Vernon and Rapides parishes were encouraged Tuesday morning at the receipt of a letter from the state’s Congressional Delegation. The Delegation, addressing Secretary of the Army John McHugh, detailed the importance of Fort Polk as a cost-effective training facility for the nation’s military.
LEESVILLE-In a joint press conference Thursday in Leesville, Representative James Armes (D-Leesville); Leesville Mayor Robert Rose; Vernon Parish Police Jury President Jim Tuck; Fort Polk Progress Chairman Mike Reese; and Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce President Rhonda Plummer made an urgent plea to area residents and other stakeholders to comment on a recent assessment done by the Department of the Army which could result in the loss of more than 5,000 soldiers at Fort Polk. Their call was joined by other Central Louisiana organizations reaching across parish lines.