Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking Care Of Those Who Serve

It's funny, how we Americans argue back and forth about the merits of government v private enterprise. Do we ever consider that either way, things are being run by flawed human beings? Could it perhaps be true that the human race is terminally incompetent? A sobering thought indeed...

Take, for instance, Mary Alice's dilemma - a military wife, in quasi-military housing. You see, a number of years ago, some people decided that military housing might be more efficiently managed if it were privately run. This made sense to many of us who have resided in military housing, in a system that could be, let's say, unresponsive - dilatory - inefficient. "Hey," we thought, "it couldn't be worse! Let's give that profit motive idea a try!"

As a result, many housing areas were essentially auctioned off to the highest bidder who agreed to maintain the houses to a certain standard. In turn, that bidder would receive the occupant's housing allowance as rent. So long, Soviet-style bureaucrats managing repairs! Hello, profit-oriented efficient businessmen!

Only, not. Check out this post of Mary Alice's. Things are the same (if not worse) for military members residing in these domiciles - poor customer service, lackluster repairs, no cosmetic upkeep. And, worst of all, when she complained about the situation on her blog, her husband's commander asked her to please be quiet.

(Actually, he told her husband to tell her to please pipe down. Those of us who know Mary Alice can only imagine with what trepidation her poor husband passed on this message to his beloved. Poor guy...)

In my view, the military should be outraged about this situation and should be yanking the housing contract from whoever currently holds it. What could be worse for a deployed soldier/airman/etc than to have to worry (while in a war zone) that his family is without a fridge? Or that his pregnant wife is having to mow the lawn? Or that an unrepaired leak is now causing mold to grow within the walls of his home?

Talk about a morale-buster, eh?

Yo! Military! You want the rest of America to treat our soldiers right - how's about setting a good example?


  1. Amen! I could not agree more.

  2. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    What bothers me the most about this (not that moldy walls are insignificant) is the FACT that the whistle-blower is being attacked and the actual problem is not being addressed.
    And the part about the ice lake? That leaves me speechless.
    The garrison commander clearly needs to be called on the carpet along with the base commander. The entire situation is appalling.

    We left military housing before it was all contracted out. I also posted about this and have already received 2 comments on my blog today about substandard military housing.

  3. I was going to say AMEN...but that's taken. :)

    Really, my best friend's husband is in the Navy and I can't believe the stories of daily strife, the things she deals with on top of fearing for her husband's life. It makes me so mad. And her medical care??? BAD. I hate it.

  4. The same thing happened here in Australia. Defence housing is no longer run by the government, and it has not been a change for the better in any way.

  5. Thanks for the link and the cause. Shame I am so grumpy cuz I had to go and make a comment on her site because what is happening isn't acceptable. You can guarantee that stuff ain't happening at the BC's house.

  6. Dude, it's not just the military - it is USG provided quarters writ-large. They all suck!! Why? Because USG contracts to the lowest bidder who in turn make up their low bid downsized profits by cutting services. Then, when people complain - they tell them to address it to the contractor because it is not their issue, they've paid the contract up front.

    You gotta admit - it's almost like we had it coming.

    The saddest part of this story - is that lady's hubby will likely get into big trouble b/c her blog post is making the rounds and will end up on some senator's desk. The issue will be solved for a short period - but he'll never recover and it will eventually go back to as it was before.

    Now i'm all depressed! Accktt!

  7. You are NOT kidding. This is total crap.
    How can people be this money hungry and cruel?