To the Editor:

I would first like to congratulate the city of Killeen on the well planned Army Marathon on Sunday.

From all reports, KDH included, it seems that it was a great success and the participants had a great time.

Secondly, I would like to express my disappointment on the poor planning of this same marathon.

It seems that in the many months that obviously went into the planning of this marathon, one fact was overlooked; the parking lot at VLA was not available that weekend for the marathon participants to utilize for overflow parking.

VLA contacted us 10 days prior to this event letting us know that the city wanted to use their parking lot for this event. We told them that we already had a Motorcycle Rider Course scheduled for that weekend, with students already enrolled, so they would need to make other arrangements. End of story, right? Unfortunately, no.

Anticipating problems on Sunday morning, the large orange cones were left out around the perimeter of the Range (VLA parking lot) after Saturday’s class.

Sunday’s class was to begin at 7 a.m. At 5:25 a.m., the MRC instructor added “sawhorse”-type barricades for additional coverage to keep cars from parking there.

Unfortunately, by 7 a.m., there were no less than 25 cars parked in the area designated as our MRC range.

For such a large event as was this marathon, I’m sure the planning began many months prior in order to guarantee its success. At least one member of the organizing committee surely has seen the 32-foot trailer that houses our motorcycles, and the classes going on in the VLA parking lot nearly every weekend for the past 20 years. Thank God for awesome students and a great instructor who took this inconvenience and handled it with understanding and good humor.

I would like to conclude this with a ‘shame on you’ to all of the inconsiderate participants who got out of their cars, removed our barricades, and parked on our MRC range instead of the empty parking lot next door.

Also, shame on you city of Killeen for having a severe case of tunnel vision.

When you have an event planned, remember that life as usual is still going on for the rest of us.

A phone call to VLA a few months earlier would have made all of the difference in the world. We could have rescheduled our classes, the marathoners could have used the VLA parking lot, and the event could truly have been called a success by all.

Perk and Debra Bearden


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