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2-3 Inf. Soldiers move into stylish new home

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:44PM December 20th, 2012
2-3 Inf. Soldiers move into stylish new home

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Sgt. Joseph Davis, left, and Sgt. First Class Jesse Ayin check out the amenities in Davis' new barracks room in Building 3685 on JBLM Lewis Main.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division have a different place to call home. They were given access Monday to modern new living quarters in Building 3685 off Stryker Avenue on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The building’s first occupants included roommates Sgt. Joseph Davis and Sgt. Cameron Harman, who moved in on Monday.

“This is awesome,” Davis said. “I’ll actually have room to store my stuff.”

Until Monday, Davis resided in barracks that were built in the 1940s, in the “Banana Belt” area of JBLM on Lewis Main. He said those quarters have a community bathroom and laundry room for each floor. Soldiers there were sometimes stacked four to a room.

“Here we get our own room, our own kitchen, shower and washer and dryer,” a visibly happy Davis said.

The new barracks units are set up like apartments, with a separate bedroom for each occupant and a common kitchen, bathroom and laundry area that both occupants share. The units are furnished with twin beds, desks and a kitchen table.

The new building also includes many safety features, including security cameras and a 24-hour manned desk in the lobby.

Private First Class Mariah Fletcher, who just arrived to JBLM, recieved the key to her unit, which she said feels much more comfortable than any barracks room she’s had yet.

Fletcher is one of 16 female Soldiers moving into the barracks.

“I’m very excited,” Fletcher said. “It feels like you have a lot more personal space.”

Fletcher said she feels completely safe in her new home, since the building’s access cards must open two outer doors and one interior door to gain entrance to the unit.

“That’s three separate key codes on every card,” said 2-3 Inf. Command Sgt. Maj. Peter Smith. “That’s about as good as it gets.”

The $18 million project will house 200 single Soldiers.

The building also has extra laundry facilities on the first floor, including a boot washing station and industrial-sized laundry machines for washing gear, like rucksacks — two of the ways the new barracks meets Soldiers’ unique needs.

The 2-3 Inf. just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan and were moving into the new building just days before they go on block leave for a month. This is the second time in two years that Soldiers from the 3rd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. have been given a new barracks building on JBLM.

But Shirley Brown, First Sergeant’s Barracks Program area manager, believes it’s a well-deserved gift.

“Every time the Soldiers move into a new building, there’s an uplift in morale,” she said. “They appreciate it and they’ll take good care of it.”