Post Housing Under Scrutiny Because of Mold
Soldier Who Served 4 Deployments Complained for a Year
As the debate rages over recent reports the government is considering housing migrant children at Fort Benning, one active duty soldier tells First News, he knows first hand the housing on Post is not up to snuff .
SSG Brian Tomayko, a career soldier who served four tours overseas, said he noticed a drip coming from the air conditioning unit when they moved to Fort Benning last year.
“And they said it was just normal because of the way the AC ran. The dripping we heard was part of the system and the drip pan was catching it,” SSG Tomayko said.
But he says he discovered the dripping was hardly normal and the unit was poorly constructed.
“The closet that it’s in that was constructed, it wasn’t big enough to facilitate the air AC handler unit so they had to put them in upside down,” he said.
After months of leaking at Mcgraw Village, the soldier and his family noticed a serious mold problem and couldn’t help but wonder if this was a contributing factor to upper respiratory issues the family suffered.
“In February I put in a work order like I said when we did the Command Housing inspections. I annotated it that there was mold that was growing on the PVC pipe of our AC unit inside the house. They sent a gentleman over from maintenance, he looked at it, took a Clorox wipe and said here this is the best we can do right now,” the Staff Sergeant said.
Not satisfied and not his first rodeo, the Staff Sergeant told First News he dealt with similar issues in the past.
“When we saw what happened at (Fort) Drum and it was brushed under the rug and we got the impression that they were trying to brush it under the rug here as well, I had to say something. I had to contact Congress, I had to contact my parents. They contacted you guys,” he said.
A full year after lodging their initial complaint the housing issues were finally addressed. SSG Tomayko said ultimately they are just glad to be back in their home but Soldiers deserve better.
Fort Benning responded to calls for comment about this report with the following statement.
The Garrison leadership, Fort Benning Department of Public Works (DPW) Housing Chief, and the Property Management Team at Fort Benning take all Life, Health, and Safety matters seriously.
We are aware of this particular situation and have been continuously working with the Soldier to rectify his concerns.
Don Hammond contributed to this report.