Clarksville reacts to Fort Campbell losing a brigade - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Clarksville reacts to Fort Campbell losing a brigade

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

With a major Army restructuring taking place, the mayor of Clarksville said her community is actually fortunate compared to other installations.

Fort Campbell's 4th Brigade Combat Team is among the 12 brigades the Army is eliminating. The 4BCT currently has 3,500 soldiers, though only 320 of them are expected to be cut from the Army. The rest of the brigade is expected to be split between new battalions and other brigades.

"You never want to lose people, but these are not just troops," said Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan. "They're not just economic engines for our community. They're people, and they're families. Even though we are losing a brigade, we are also gaining a number of different battalions and sustainment units. Our overall force will still be higher than pre-9/11, and that ranks us very high in the nation in terms of our ability to protect our country overseas and elsewhere."

"Fort Campbell is a major part of Montgomery County and Clarksville," added Gary Shephard, owner of Edward's in downtown Clarksville.

Shephard and wife, Linda, said they owe their livelihood to their customers in uniform.  

"I would guess most of the businesses here, if not all on this street, have some type of military discount," said Shephard. "We know the importance of the soldiers. They enable us to do what we do."

With so much appreciation for Fort Campbell, the Shephards said they're disappointed to hear the post will lose more than 300 soldiers as part of the major restructuring of the Army.

"It cuts into our business, and it cuts into everyone else's business," said Shephard. "It'll impact everybody in this county."

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