David A. Bryant

OK, there has been a lot of reaction since Fort Hood Family Housing announced it would open housing for any renters, whether or not they were military. Most of it has been bad — and I will address my particular concern later — but for the most part, why are you complaining?

You didn’t want to live in post housing, anyway. Otherwise, you probably would be.

Some people’s comments on Facebook railed against “the military” messing over soldiers, yet again. To you I would say, when has the military ever written policy? Housing was privatized by Congress, which was looking to save a few bucks on the military budget. As with all policies, it’s the military’s job to implement it. If you don’t like it, talk to Congress.

Others are worried about security — and quite frankly, that’s my only concern. I’m not happy that there is even the slightest possiblity that some terrorist could end up living in post housing and cause a major disaster — with our family members’ lives on the line.

Fortunately, the list of those who will get into housing before a random civilian does is pretty long. Not only are retirees and Department of Defense civilians who work on post already able to move into post housing, but now our actively serving National Guard and Reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen will have access as well. Then veterans will get priority.

Once all those have had the opportunity to move in, then civilians will have the chance. As of now, the only civilians living in military housing in the other 34 installations who already do this are ones who have a family member in the military at that installation.

I can live with that.

Most people are talking about how bad post housing on Fort Hood is and wondering why anyone would want to pay to live there. It’s that particular thinking that has Fort Hood Family Housing in the situation they’re in.

In order to build new housing, people have to live in the current ones so their housing allowance can go into the savings fund set aside to build brand-new living communities. As those are built, our service members already on post are getting to move into them first — not a civilian. Eventually, with enough people staying in housing, all the communities will become “brand new.”

As for the 400 service members on the waiting list for housing who are getting “pushed out while there are open houses,” they actually fall into two categories. The first category is stuck in a long-term lease and can’t move in until that lease is done, and the other is staying on the wait-list until an acceptable home becomes available in the community they want.

And they will all have homes waiting for them when they’re ready.

David A. Bryant is an Army retiree and the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. You can reach him at dbryant@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7554.

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