By: Shannon Shull
Oh friends, am I ever so excited and so proud! If any of you happened to check out my last blog entry, you know that I was trying to help rally support to Save Our Fort. The goal was to try to get close to 10,000 signatures in support of Fort Jackson staying open and active in our community. Not only did they meet their goal, but they’ve exceeded it! As of August 25, 2014, they already have close to 13,000 signatures! Many thanks to the tremendous effort put forth by my amazing aunt, Susan McPherson, Director of Public Policy & Military Affairs at the Greater Columbia Chamber, and the team of fabulous folks who rallied our community in support of Fort Jackson and all the positive opportunities it provides for our state. So for those of you who have stepped up to support the Fort, THANK YOU! You rock!
Please read on below for details of the good news. I promise to keep you all posted on this mission to Save Our Fort.
Columbia Chamber Exceeds Goal with Support of Community
The Save Our Fort initiative, an effort started by the Columbia Chamber to gain community support for Fort Jackson, has exceeded its goal by gathering more than 12,300 petition signatures. “We greatly appreciate the overwhelming response on behalf of Fort Jackson” stated Carl Blackstone, president & CEO of the Columbia Chamber. “This is a critical demonstration to the U. S. Army on how valuable Fort Jackson is to our community and to our partners.”
MG (Ret.) George Goldsmith, chairman of the Columbia Chamber Military Affairs Committee shares, “We hear it again and again that the Columbia region is the ‘most military friendly community in America’. The collected signatures are a strong indicator for the U. S. Army and sets the stage for our community listening session that will be held in early 2015. We appreciate our community’s support and encourage continued involvement as we fight to save our fort.”
The packet of support letters will be sent to the U.S. Army in response to the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) on August 25th. We encourage the community to continue sending in petitions until Monday. The next phase of the SPEA will be in early 2015 with the U. S. Army community listening session. Additional details will be shared closer to the date.
Columbia recognizes Fort Jackson as a major economic engine. We are proud of our talented men and women who produce excellent soldiers for our country. We want to continue to work with the U.S. Army to grow and expand the mission of Fort Jackson and make it a center of excellence for Initial Entry Training soldier training/production.
For more information about Save Our Fort visit ColumbiaChamber.com or contact Susan McPherson at 803.733.1148.