Community pleads to save Fort Jackson - - Columbia, South Carolina

Community pleads to save Fort Jackson

Supporters of Fort Jackson gathered at Shandon Baptist Church. Supporters of Fort Jackson gathered at Shandon Baptist Church.

On Thursday, community members had a chance to convince the US Army to spare Fort Jackson from cuts.

Army officials are visiting 30 installations to determine where cuts should be made, worst case scenario for Fort Jackson, would be a loss of nearly half its staff.

For more than two hours, Army leaders heard from locals about what Fort Jackson means to them and their community.

Men and women filled Shandon Baptist Church to share their love of Fort Jackson.

"It's not just about training,but it's also about the following relationship that this community has built with Fort Jackson," a community member said.

"'We love our soldiers. We have opened our arms to all military families," another member said.

"One thing the children of veterans don't have to be taught: patriotism. We breathe it every day," another said.

Army leaders on the listening panel will bring the information back to senior leaders.

"We talk about the stories from the community, beyond the square footage and the training ranges," Director of Force Management Roger Cloudier said. "I have probably 12 pages of notes about the story that centers around the bond between Fort Jackson and the community. So that's the story I'm going to tell."

Community members hope the show of support, pays off.

"South Carolina has a heart for the military and I want you to take that back with you," a supporter said.

"We stand here before you explaining the impact of Fort Jackson to us, but we as a community hope you recognize the impact we have on Fort Jackson. We are you're home front," another Fort Jackson support said.

The Army leaders in Columbia will bring the information gathered here, back to senior Army officials, those officials will then go through a formal process of deciding where cuts should be made.

Those decisions will be made sometime late Spring.

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