Community pride
Family members with the 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment organize a project to clean up trash along a busy road in the housing area on Fort Jackson, S.C.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (March 27, 2014) -- Nobody seems willing to take responsibility for the litter that had accumulated in the areas around Hilton Field. It just seemed to accumulate there, carried by the wind from wherever it had been discarded. Paper, plastic grocery bags, cereal boxes and the obligatory cigarette butts were strewn along the side of the road leading to post housing. Two weeks ago, some residents decided enough was enough.

"We talked about it a long time, all of the trash flying around," said Army spouse Manuela Allen. "We heard they'll send out Soldiers to pick up trash and I said, 'No, that's not their job.'"

On March 14, Allen, other spouses, friends and children of the 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment decided to take matters into their own hands. They hit the road with trash bags and began to fill them with garbage collected along the road.

"Our first bags were all the way full," Allen said. "Most of the trash we collected going down Chesnut Road. Everybody had more than a full bag of trash."

"We were out conducting a site visit that day at C.C. Pinckney (Elementary School) on Chesnut Road, and happened to see this group of individuals picking up litter," said Stephanie Gillian, Solid Waste Program manager for Fort Jackson. "I stopped to let them know who I was and that I was excited to see them out."

Litter has increasingly become a priority for command on post, Gillian said. This incident was a happy coincidence.

"What they decided to do was start picking up trash on the Hilton Field side of Chesnut Road," she said. "They didn't know they were doing something to support the mission on post ... they were just out cleaning up litter. They cleaned up the entire road."

Page last updated Thu March 27th, 2014 at 10:15