Public meeting on Fort Polk assessment underway in DeRidder - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Public meeting on Fort Polk assessment held in DeRidder

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DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) -

A meeting was held in DeRidder on Friday to advise the public of the options presented by the U.S. Army under its plan to reduce the Army by 2017.

"Under the plan, soldiers are going to be cut from somewhere," said Michael Reese, chairman of Fort Polk Progress. "What we want to get across is that cutting them from Fort Polk would hurt the Army and the economies of the surrounding areas."

Fort Polk has long been touted as a premiere Army training post, having a hand in the lives of soldiers who served in World War II and many of the soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also home to the Joint Readiness Training Center.

More than that, Fort Polk has proved to be a huge economic factor throughout Southwest Louisiana, Vernon Parish and outlying areas.

There are three options the Army has at a number of Army posts around the country, including reducing the number of soldiers, increasing the number of soldiers or taking no action at all.

Fort Polk Progress and the public in attendance at Friday's meeting hope reductions are minimal.

The meeting was held by Fort Polk Progress, an action group of citizens, elected officials and organizations dedicated to the preservation of Fort Polk.

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