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YouTube Video of Fort Bragg Gets Results

We've been focused on the ills of YouTube lately, but here's one story where the website was used for good instead of evil. Army dad Edward Frawley paid a welcome home visit on his 22-year-old son — just returning from a tour of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division in the mountains of Afghanistan — and he was shocked to see the deplorable conditions of his son's barracks at Fort Bragg, NC.

In our high-tech age when we want to send a grievance we don't have to wait for a carrier pigeon — and Frawley didn't. He put together this thoughtfully narrated 10 minute video telling the story of his son and showing the conditions, which included moldy walls, a bathroom that looked flooded with sewage, uncapped sewage pipes and peeling paint.

In just a few days, Senator Elizabeth Dole of NC had declared the condition of the barracks “wholly unacceptable and it must be immediately corrected.” She contacted the Army secretary and just three days after the YouTube clip was posted, the Army responded to the claims. Repairs are under way, and the creative response seems to have spurred action.

Is this a happy ending, or a story highlighting a bigger problem? Are you surprised to see this dad had to take matters to the court of YouTube?

Join The Conversation
steveking steveking 9 years today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune. YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time. Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos. Product page: Direct download link: Company web-site:
lukal lukal 9 years
It is commendable that this Dad took the time to document the horribly poor conditions which our heroic boys have to return home to. He is a very caring father. We should all be ashamed. I do hope Senator Dole's action had some results. We need to continue to pray for our troops.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I'm an Army brat so I can tell you this is not an isolated case. I can also tell you that military personnel are some of the LOWEST paid people in our nation. A lot of military personnel are paid wages that fall into the poverty line. Our military people are treated as pariahs for serving our country and fighting wars that our leaders get us into. They are scorned and ridiculed for fighting for our freedom and sense of safety. Look at most of the world ... Americans do not have to worry about a lot of the issues people in other nations live with on a daily basis. I recently went to a Veteran's Hospital near me to visit my uncle when he had some surgery done. The conditions of that hospital were, frankly, similarly deplorable. I would love to see a similar outcry start a change for all Vet Hospitals as well. Our military men and women deserve MUCH better treatment, pay, and benefits than they currently receive.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." -George Washington This is just shameful. In my opinion I think America still has a lot to answer for the way our armed forces were treated during the Vietnam area. Clearly we haven't redeemed ourselves yet.
foxie foxie 9 years
We are being told now NOT to speak to anyone outside of the chain of command about on-post living conditions... pfft.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
Sometimes a person has to go to the highest position to get change and sometimes one must go to the public. I've done both. Both work, but going public is a lot faster. Thank the young man's commander that they won't hold this against him and I think on CNN someone said this had been reported. Two thumbs up to young man's father for having the cajones to advertise. Whatever else YouTube is, it's also a great "leveler."
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Our Government sure is patriotic.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Apparently they don't!
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Since the popularization of blogging, I've said that this is an awesome tool to return more power to the people and away from corporate mass media. YouTube has increased this exponentially. Given the pay scales for these folks, they should at least house them decently. Private landlords would be shut down for conditions like those! Also, has no one considered the liability which could result from long-term disabilities due to mold? It has been in the news enough the last few years, they should be aware of it. Doesn't the DoD have risk management people on staff?
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
That's a good point, cabaker. We lived on post in Hawaii because it was just crazy expensive to live off post there. BAH was high, but the communities near post were very limited and the landlords were merciless. But, here at Bragg, I don't even know anyone who lives on post. Most of the single soldiers we know don't even live on post. (Of course, perhaps this video indicates why... :O )
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
"Honestly, I think they should stop having family housing on post. Just pay BAH out. Focus on the barracks since, as cabaker pointed out, lower enlisted soldiers are forced to live in them." Yep, as much as I would miss the community of living on base and the ease... I think family housing could def. be phased out. Only I would argue maybe we should keep in high cost of living areas like San Diego...
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I was kind of surprised to hear about this. We've been here at Bragg for two years and they have been in a constant state of building brand new barracks that entire time. I can't even count the number of new ones that have gone up while we've been here. From what I understand, in this case, the repairs and maintenance were already scheduled but when the unit redeployed three weeks early, the maintenance crew hadn't had a chance to get them taken care of yet. In my husband's last unit, they lived in converted old - OOOOOOOLD - family housing. While they were deployed, new barracks were built for them, but they weren't completed by the time they got back. So, they had to live in even scuzzier conditions for a little while until they could get into their new barracks. The only good thing is that a lot of them take leave when they first get back, so hopefully there aren't all that many people having to deal with the nasty housing. Honestly, I think they should stop having family housing on post. Just pay BAH out. Focus on the barracks since, as cabaker pointed out, lower enlisted soldiers are forced to live in them.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Sad. :( I think it is terrible that we treat our soldiers this way, and that it takes average citizens to bring it to light. Especially after what was found in the military hospital a couple of years ago, it just highlights the fact that our government doesn't REALLY have the best interest of these brave souls in mind. I don't care if isn't politically savy...we NEED to get more money to take care of these men and women, and if we don't have it now we might have to raise taxes to get it. Cut other programs to get it. It should be of highest priority. I have read so many articles about the poor health care that vets receive when they get home. Large numbers of vets who call because they feel suicidal are put on WAITING LISTS to get care! I don't think citizens, whether they are conservative or liberal, want the troops to be living in filth. Our representatives need to step up and address this treatment. The officials who are in charge of these things should be racked over the coals.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Thats the problem. The young enlisted are required to live in the barracks which is why the barracks should get the attention first, families can choose to live in base housing or not... though, maybe thats a base to base thing, I've heard stories from Air Force that they have to live in base housing if its available... not sure!
piper23 piper23 9 years
Family housing at Ft. Sill, OK is actually really nice. I was suprised. It looks like a middle class neighborhood. But when my husband was training up for Iraq at Ft. Bragg in 05, they stayed in these old WWII barracks that were just awful. I couldn't believe it. No heat at all. He had to use a space heater. But being new to the military I thought it was the norm. I'm glad this father did this. There's no excuse for it. And if the barracks were built in the 40s as he said then the Army has had ample time to correct these problems. And I do think that the soldiers living like this should receive BAH until its taken care of.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Oh boy! They're all gonna fail!! Housing is the last thing that gets funding. The last base house I lived in was built in the 40s... Thanks for the info Citizen!
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
It looks like it's helping everywhere cabaker--barracks worldwide are now getting inspections.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I'm not surprised. Its not just the Army, I've seen a lot of barracks where the wals were black with mold and they just painted over them. When my husband lived in barracks, I refused to use the bathroom there... I was too scared!:) Heck, the house we used to live in on a base had a TON of mold in it. Hopefully this video will get conditions improved EVERYWHERE and not just at Fort Bragg.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
That's disgusting and sad.
YouTube is the fastest way to get attention in a soceity that usually takes months or even years to pass bill and make a change. It is slowly being taken over by nudity, kiddie porn and videos like this. I make diet and health videos for and although youtube is not exactly our target audience, it gets us the greatest number of views. I'm glad people are using it for good.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
That was gross! Has no one ever complained before? Geez.
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