For in the May 19 post newspaper, the Frontline, I noticed an article on the front page about people missing appointments at Winn Army Community Hospital (“Don’t be a medical no-show,” The Frontline, May 19). Why hasn’t Winn researched this problem to find out why these people have missed their appointments?
For I know one of the problems is the sorry mass transit system Liberty County and Hinesville government have in place. (Editor’s note: The Liberty Transit System is governed by the Transit Steering Committee, which is composed of the mayors of Hinesville and Flemington, the Liberty County Board of Commissioners chairman and an ex-officio Fort Stewart representative.)
One of the problems is that they don’t have a Liberty bus line that runs more routes on- and off-post. For on-post, the bus line needs to run through all of the housing areas every half-hour. And as for off-post, the bus line needs to run from Long County to Richmond Hill in Bryan County every hour.
For Fort Lewis, Washington, has a bus line that runs from Olympia to Seattle for $2. Plus it has routes on-post. And Fort Gordon is served by an Augusta bus line that runs through the post’s housing areas to Eisenhower Army Medical Center and downtown Augusta.
For it seems that there was always a city/county-wide bus at the bus stop at Eisenhower. And there was always a taxi at the taxi area. Same goes for the PX and Commissary. For I usually didn’t have to call a cab while stationed at Fort Gordon. For Augusta had a lot of cabs, and it didn’t take three hours after the nightclubs closed to get a cab. And they didn’t have a loitering problem at night around the malls in Augusta.
So a lot of the problem may be due to a poor transportation system set up by Liberty County. For the military dependent who lives off-post and their spouse who is in the military gets a 4 a.m. alert call and takes the family car. And the dependent has an 8:30 appointment at Winn and has to depend on a taxi to get to the appointment because the Liberty bus doesn’t run in their area. They may have to wait two hours or more for a cab and miss their appointment because the cab companies don’t keep up with the demand.
For local government is always bragging about the support they give Fort Stewart, which is not true. If they supported Fort Stewart, they would have a better transportation system in place so the military and their dependents would not be missing appointments at Winn. Maybe the U.S. Army needs to ship all the military and their dependents to Fort Gordon and close down the cantonment area at Fort Stewart and turn all of Fort Stewart into a training area.
For civilians will probably blame the reason for the military missing appointments because they have no place to leave their kids in an emergency. For this can’t be true because of all the day-care centers on post and the military’s support system where other military wives will watch their kids while they go to their appointment.
For local government in Liberty County needs to better support the military at Fort Stewart before they cause the military establishment to ship all the troops and dependents at Fort Stewart to Fort Gordon. And just keeping Fort Stewart open to a training area, calling it Joint Base Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart. Something to think about.
Robert J. Wetmore