On Thursday, February 26, nearly 2,000 community and business leaders, mothers, sons, widows and concerned citizens join the Columbia Chamber to show their support for Fort Jackson. The Community Listening Session provided Columbia with the chance to defend our Fort and demonstrate the importance of our soldiers to the surrounding community. The Chamber and our business partners worked hard to ensure the United States Assessment Team left the Midlands with a clear analysis of the economic loss we are facing but the words from the public drove the message home. We are proud to be the “Most Military Friendly Community in America,” and we proved it last week.
For nearly four and half hours, the community stood in front of the Army Assessment Team describing the many ways our lives are intertwined with our soldiers. For some, they grew up with the Fort and could not imagine a life without their soldiers, but for others it was a developed respect as soldiers became customers and friends.
The Assessment Team left hearing many stories, but the resounding theme was that Columbia not only values the soldiers we have, but we look forward to growing the Fort and becoming a center of excellence in Basic Combat Training for the United States Army.
On behalf of the Columbia Chamber, we thank those who helped through donations, attendance and the powerful messages that were shared. Columbia did our part, and the decision is now out of our hands.