The closing of Fort McClellan
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, marked the 10-year anniversary of Fort McClellan closing in Anniston and moving to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In a four-part series, The Anniston Star looks at where we are and where we're headed a decade after losing what was once the economic engine of northeast Alabama.
Our loss, their gain: 10 years later, Fort McClellan's move continues to bless Missouri
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The soldiers and civilians from Fort McClellan in Anniston traded Appalachians for Ozarks. They stopped hearing "y'all" and started hearing "you'ns." The cities around Fort Leonard Wood are glad they came. St. Robert sprouted retail and restaurants; the hallways of the Waynesville Schools system filled with students. Ten years later Fort McClellan's closing continues to bless Pulaski County. Contractors build houses. The tables at restaurants are full, and tips can be generous.
Fort's closure still felt by teams a decade later
When Daryl Hamby took over at Weaver High School in 1999, he was pleasantly surprised to find his new basketball team sported frontline players who checked in at 6-foot-6, 6-5 and 6-3. After that, though, things began to change. Weaver had already felt the sting as Fort McClellan downsized in preparation for base closure, as the government's decision to move thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families to Missouri.
Expats made a home at McClellan, and stayed
On Noble Army Hospital's last day, the staff and volunteers gathered in the lobby to bid a poignant farewell to the building that had cared for so many soldiers and their families over the years. Noble's workers tended newborn babies, broken bones and bouts of flu common to any community. And Fort McClellan was a community as much as it was a military post, according to the women who came to northeast Alabama simply because assignments had called their husbands.