By AP. It wasn’t the welcome home that U.S. soldiers expected when they returned from war zones in the Middle East in the past week.
When their planes landed at Fort Bliss, Texas, they were herded into buses, denied water and the use of bathrooms, then quarantined in packed barracks, with little food or access to the outdoors. “This is no way to treat Soldiers returning from war,” one soldier told The Associated Press in an email.
The soldiers posted notes on social media about the poor conditions. Their complaints got quick attention from senior Army and Pentagon leaders. Now changes are under way at Fort Bliss and at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where the first soldiers placed under quarantine also complained of poor, cramped conditions. (Read more from “Returning Troops Denied Water, Bathrooms Under Quarantine” HERE)
Army Had ‘Quarantined’ Troops Mingle With Healthy Ones
By Daily Beast. After a nine-month deployment to the Middle East, military policemen from a Missouri National Guard company arrived at Ft. Bliss, Texas on Mar. 6 to demobilize and proceed home. They spent a week and a half moving freely around the sprawling base—until, hours before they were supposed to fly home, they were ordered into coronavirus quarantine.
It wasn’t just Ft. Bliss. A different National Guard unit returning from its own deployment entered quarantine at Ft. Hood, Texas on Sunday. But its quarantine didn’t seem to provide for social distancing. Pictures provided to The Daily Beast show soldiers from Ft. Hood—troops outside the quarantine and presumed to be uninfected—serving meals up close to those in the quarantine.
While the guardsmen question the point of their porous quarantines, the commands running those bases are scrambling to fix the problem. Both the initial disarray and the rapid corrections the bases are implementing are improvisational attempts at handling the wide-ranging disruption created by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Their collective experiences this week represent another inside indication into how the U.S. military is attempting to tackle a problem that it, like much of the country, did not anticipate dealing with. (Read more from “Army Had ‘Quarantined’ Troops Mingle With Healthy Ones” HERE)