(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:51 AM
A recent cellphone video shot in a Fort Polk bathroom has given viewers an inside look at some of the squalid living conditions at the Leesville army post.
The 33-second video, shot by an unnamed soldier at Fort Polk’s 1-509th Infantry barracks and uploaded to Facebook’s “U.S. Army W.T.F! moments” Web page on Thursday, shows dark brown water coming from a shower nozzle and collecting in the tub below.
“This is disgusting,” the soldier says in the background. “Fort Polk, Louisiana, United States Army, and they give us this.”
The soldier then pans upward to reveal extensive mold damage on the ceiling.
“They give us this: mold everywhere,” he adds. “It’s disgusting.”
Kimberly Reischling, Fort Polk’s command information officer and media relations chief, said two of the base’s barracks had brown water in their bathrooms. The discolored water, she said, was caused by repairs made on Friday to a failing hot water circulation pump. Both barracks have since had their water lines flushed and cleaned and the failing hot water circulation pump has been replaced.
“What we’re going to do is make sure soldiers are aware of the process to get things taken care of,” Reischling said. “The director of public works is inspecting every barrack to make sure there are no problems in any of the rooms.”
Reischling said the DPW, which is responsible for all of Fort Polk’s major maintenance work, received a complaint about the brown water on Thursday, the same day the video was posted on Facebook. She added that DPW officials responded to the situation “within hours.”
Reischling also said she was unaware of any mold complaints made by any soldier on the base. She said each soldier is given a dehumidifier, which they are supposed to run continuously, to remove humidity in the barracks.
“Mold is not a new issue here, especially with the heat and humidity in the summer,” she said. “Where mold and mildew issues are present, soldiers pick up a mold buster kit to clean it themselves, if it’s mild.”
If mold conditions are “beyond mild,” Reischling said, soldiers are required to call in a work order with the DPW to have it removed. She added that DPW staff members perform inspections twice a year to check for mold in the barracks.
Many of Fort Polk’s barracks are
undergoing renovations. Sixteen barracks have already been renovated;
five are under renovation,
and five more will be worked on between 2014 and 2015, Reischling
Posted By: Steve A On: 12/11/2013
Back in the day when I was in the Army. If there was mold in the barracks, shower, latrine......where ever. We cleaned it. Get up off your dead butt and clean your living quarters. As far as the dirty water, hey I put with that here, whenever they work on the water mains. Could send your butt back to the field and you can clean out of bucket.