By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Soldier's father protesting housing
0719 post housing 2
Mold and broken windows scar the outside of one of the homes. - photo by Photo provided.
A South Carolina man has started a Facebook group that has some officials on Fort Stewart cleaning up their acts.
Dave Hemmingson, whose daughter and son-in-law recently were assigned to the post, started the “Our Military Troops Deserve Better” group after he said he visited the couple in their dilapidated housing in the Marne Terrace subdivision.
“As we drove through the post, I thought, ‘what a great place to live. The streets are clean, there is no trash anywhere. What a great place to be stationed,’” he said, “but then we drove past [Diamond Elementary] and the grass was four feet tall and the buildings were moldy, and I said, ‘I hope they don’t live in this neighborhood.’”
But they do.
The couple moved in May 20 and found their apartme nt in less-than-desirable condition.
That’s when Hemmingsen said he began his crusade to get the word out about the poor living conditions soldiers like his son-in-law and their families are forced into. He started the Facebook group and filed for a congressional hearing in S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office.
“It would be really simple for me to say, ‘fix my kids’ apartment’ and let that be that, but when I saw that it wasn’t just their apartment and it was the whole neighborhood, I thought, ‘there are other people who may or may not have a voice or the courage to stand up and say, ‘I don’t like where I am living at,’” he said.
Already, Hemmingsen’s Facebook group has drawn more than 600 members.
Each group members claims his or her housing experience on Fort Stewart and other military installations is or was much like the one Hemmingsen described.
The spouse of a soldier assigned to Fort Stewart, who identifies herself only as Misti, said she’s been living on post for nearly a year and is very unsatisfied.
“In the last year almost, I have had my dryer spark up – it’s ‘brand new’ mind you. I have had my toilet not flush because the chain in the tank was connected to the flushing rod by a shoe lace. I’m not joking. And my AC has flooded into my hallways more the four times,” she wrote on the page’s wall. “… [there] has been a lot of changes with Balfour Beatty, but not enough to impress me. So, with that said, I’m very disappointed that my husband works his butt off to only live in a [expletive] apartment.”
Balfour Beatty Communities is the UK-based contractor responsible for the maintenance, renovation and construction of housing on Fort Stewart.
Already, the group has sparked some efforts to clean up housing conditions on post.
Another member of Hemmingsen’s Facebook group, who calls herself Amber, wrote on Tuesday:
“Today I saw power washing in both Marne Terrace and Southern Oaks … and lots of yard work was being done today!”
Hemmingsen said Balfour Beatty management also has decided to move his daughter and son-in-law into a recently remodeled home.
They are slated to move into Eisenhower Terrace by Aug. 7.
“They’re not asking for a tennis court, a pool or a golf course,” Hemmingsen said. “They just want a healthy, safe environment for them and their families to live.”

This story is part of a two-day series. The next will focus on what Balfour Beatty Communities and Fort Stewart’s garrison commander have said about Hemmingsen’s concerns and the way housing privatization is handled on the post.
Sign up for our e-newsletters