Belvoir Opens New WTU Housing
December 12, 2008
Maj. Gen. Richard Rowe, comA,Amanding general of the Military District of Washington visited post Friday to cut the ribbon as Belvoir formally opened new Warrior in Transition Unit housing at Building 2109 in McRee Barracks. Installation commander and command sergeant major, Col. Jerry Blixt and Command Sgt. Maj. Allison Smith; Dewitt Healthcare Network's commander and command sergeant major, Col. Charles Callahan and Command Sgt. Maj. Dale Christopher; and WTU commander and first serA,Ageant, Capt. Eduardo Moten and 1st Sgt. Johnnie Bryant joined Rowe for the brief ceremony.
The new barracks will house the unit's Soldiers until the new WTU complex is completed and opened for use in 2011.
Belvoir invested $2.5 million into renovations for the building that was originally built in 1975.
Renovations to the barracks inA,Aclude new furniture, grab bars and fixtures in the bathrooms, new airA,Aconditioning and heating units, tile floors, kitchen appliances and a new air purification system to reA,Aduce the growth of mold.
Three of the renovated rooms comply with Americans with Disabilities Act specifications and a ramp will also be installed for acA,Acess.
Al Barbosa, the installation's barracks manager, welcomed all those in attendance and thanked everyone for their efforts in makA,Aing the renovations possible.
"Today is a day for thank you," Barbosa said. "A great deal of work and money has been expended to make improvements to the WTU barracks here at Fort Belvoir."
Bryant felt the Fort Belvoir team had done a wonderful job of accomplishing the goals set forth by the First Sergeant's Barracks Initiative, which transferred the administrative responsibility of the barracks from the assigned units to the garrison staff.
"I truly feel that the Belvoir team, the installation, Directorate of Public Works and barracks manA,Aagement, has done astonishingly well at accomplishing these goals." Moten thanked Blixt and his team for their never-ending supA,Aport and pointed out how critical the mission of the garrison is to the program.
"The Army definitely got this program right," Moten said. "I have witnessed time and time again how the WTU program has restored warriors and returned them to the fight and how it facilitated warriors reaching optimum medical benefit and empowered them to become proud and productive veterans able to succeed in their civilian lives.
"This newly renovated barracks is a shining example of the unwaA,Avering support provided by Fort Belvoir," Moten said.
Spc. William Swift is a WTU Soldier who is living in the newly renovated building.
"My old unit was really small and condensed and we had three rooms to a trailer," Swift said. "This is a lot better than I am used to and it is definitely more homey and spacious.
"I can now lay on my bed on one side of the room and watch TV, which is on the other side of the room, so it's really nice," Swift said.