"Fort Polk is vital to the area. We hope to unite
the installation and the surrounding communities
to care for its soldiers and their families. It's our
-Michael Reese, Fort Polk Progress President
The 60-day commenting period concerning a possible reduction of 6,500 troops at Fort Polk drew to a close at midnight Aug. 25, 2014. Leaders from across the state of Louisiana sent in letters, governmental bodies passed resolutions in support of maintaining troop strength at the Army base, businesses set up letter-signing stations for their customers and people from all over the world signed the petition.
The 7,400 people who signed the petition before the deadline represented all but two states in the union. In addition, signers included people from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.
Several countries were represented: Australia, Canada, Columbia, Germany, India, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, and Mexico. Fort Polk Progress thanks the thousands of individuals who took the time to not only sign the petition or a letter, but also shared it with friends and family.
We expect a final count of comments to be issued by the U.S. Army within about 2 weeks. Fort Polk Progress will release that data as soon as possible.
Fort Polk Progress is grateful to the organizations, businesses, individuals and government agencies below who took specific action to help save Fort Polk. We know there are likely many more that are not listed here. Please don't hesitate to let us know how you've helped so that we can thank you for efforts.
The City of Leesville sent documents of support, and also conducted a letter-signing campaign in Leesville with the Vernon Parish Fire District #1, the Vernon Parish Police Jury, the Mayor’s Women’s Commission, the Vernon Parish Tourism Commission and the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, which netted 1,761 letters. The Vernon Parish Police Jury sent in these letters, bringing the total they sent in to 3,494 letters.
The Vernon Parish Police Jury also passed a resolution in support of Fort Polk. In addition, the Vernon Parish Police Jury sent a letter on official letterhead in support of Fort Polk. Each juror signed the letter. The Louisiana Police Jury Association asked that formal letters be drafted from each parish's governmental body on behalf of the Vernon Parish Police Jury's request for support. Executive Director Roland Dartez sent out a mass email to all of the parishes and other state entities to do this for
The Vernon Parish School Board collected approximately 725 signed letters from parents in the Vernon Parish School District.
The Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce manned a letter signing station at Market Basket in Leesville from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and mailed off 700 letters.
East Leesville Baptist Church collected and mailed 250 letters.
The City of DeRidder passed a resolution in support of maintaining troop strength at Fort Polk, conducted a letter signing campaign with the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce which resulted in the collection of hundreds of letters which the city mailed.
The Town of Hornbeck passed a resolution urging the Department of the Army to avoid cuts at Fort Polk and also collected and mailed letters.
The Village of Anacoco acted as a drop-off point and sent in 915 letters.
Multiple businesses and organizations in Alexandria and Leesville sponsored heavy television advertising on KLAX: England Airpark; the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce; Loewer Powersports; Randy Wiggins, State Farm; American Moving and Storage; GEICO; Sawgie Bottom; and Barksdale Federal Credit Union. The Pineville City Council and the Alexandria City Council both passed resolutions in support of maintaining troop strength at Fort Polk.
The Central LA Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Alexandria and Pineville, the England Authority (England Airpark), Central LA Economic Development Alliance and North Rapides Business and Industry Alliance all conducted letter signing campaigns, as well as countless businesses in the Central Louisiana community.
Suddenlink, KVVP, KJAE, KJAS, KALB, KPLC the Leesville Daily Leader, the Beauregard Daily News, the Alexandria Town Talk, the Lake Charles American Press and countless other media outlets from throughout both Louisiana and Texas spread the word via newspapers, websites, radio and television.
The Bossier Parish Police Jury voted to draft a formal letter to the Army requesting that 6,500 troops and civilian jobs not be cut, which is the proposed reduction in staff through the Department of the Army's Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment. Ouachita Parish Police Jury passed a resolution and had their members sign a letter on letterhead.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser also sent a letter in support of Fort Polk and also urged other parish leaders through email to take action in support of Fort Polk.
The Lafayette Council of Government passed a resolution urging the Department of the Army to avoid cuts at Fort Polk.
The SWLA Alliance and Chamber SWLA also collected several hundred letters and mailed them.
Stine Lumber, Co. set up letter-signing stations at their Sulphur, Lake Charles and DeRidder stores for anyone who wanted to sign the letter supporting Fort Polk.
Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA) sent a letter to U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh urging him to avoid making further cuts to Fort Polk.
Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and David Vitter (R-LA), sent a joint letter to John M. McHugh, Secretary to the Army, urging him to withdraw the Army's latest round of proposed end strength reductions under the Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment. In the letter, The senators raised concerns related to the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) and called attention to the significant economic impact of Fort Polk in Vernon Parish and Central Louisiana.
U.S. Congressmen John Fleming, Charles W. Boustany, Jr. Steve Scalise, Bill Cassidy and Vance McAllister sent a joint letter to John M. McHugh, Secretary to the Army, outlining reasons why they believe the current downsizing of the Army is ill-timed and dangerous.
La. Veteran's Affairs sent a letter to the Department of the Army asking that troops not be cut at Fort Polk.
Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley; Sen. Dan Morrish (R-Jennings); and Representative A.B. Franklin (D-Lake Charles, all signed letters of support.
The City of Lake Charles, with the assistance of members of the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission, garnered over 320 signatures along with letters of support. The City of Lake Charles also passed a resolution in support of Fort Polk.
ERA Sarver Real Estate, and Fatboy and Skinny’s campaigned heavily in support of Fort Polk and also collected letters.
The Louisiana Association of Chambers of Commerce also sent letters from across the state in support of Fort Polk. A number of Louisiana Chambers of Commerces have also sent in letters and encouraged their members to send in letters.
The Webster Parish Police Jury passed a resolution urging Congress and the President to work in continuation of operations at Fort Polk.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council passed a resolution expressing support for Fort Polk military operations and urging that the same funding levels be continued at the military base at Fort Polk, La.
If you know of a business or governmental body who has made similar efforts in support of Fort Polk, please contact Tammy Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 337-378-9329.To view photos of these events, please click here.