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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Video of Naval Home Demolition

Comrades in Arms:

Here is a report, along with video, from WLOX-TV Channel 13 of the demolition of the Naval Home in Gulfport, Mississippi.


By Steve Phillips

1813 Hours EDT, Thursday 25 October 2007

"All these are my friends. All these are my friends," said Larry Westbrook, as he looked into the crowd of former residents and employees of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

It was part homecoming and part family reunion along Anniston Avenue Thursday morning.

Many held cameras while others proudly wore military hats.

They came to bid a building farewell.

"Well, we're looking forward to it coming down, so we can get one built back up so we can come back down here again," said former resident Dick Chitwood.

Former residents and employees awaited the implosion with somewhat heavy hearts.

"Worked in the resident affairs office for eleven years and loved it.

Great atmosphere," said Terry James, "Very many good memories.

A whole lot."

Karey Garrett was among the former employees who awaited the tower to come down.

"Enjoyed every day.

Loved it.

I had to be to work at seven, but I was always there at five thirty every morning," he said.

A siren signaled three minutes.

Three minutes until former resident Bill Parker pushes the button to make it happen.

"Kind of a bittersweet, You hate to see it come down, but if it don't come down, the new one can't go up," said Parker.

Then came the countdown: three, two, one!

A series of concussions shook the ground as the eleven story tower began its tumble.

In a matter of moments, a cloud of dust, a small mountain of rubble and a stubborn elevator shaft that simply refused to fall was all that remained.

"It's not going to give up the ghost yet," joked one of the veterans in the viewing crowd.

"Yeah, it's bittersweet," said Chitwood, "But we need it coming.

We need closure to get back to business."

Cleaning the rubble comes next.

Construction on the new retirement home begins the first of next year.

The demolition contractor says that stubborn elevator shaft will simply be knocked over with a crane.

Yates construction was awarded the one hundred eighty-eight million dollar contract to build the new retirement home.

The project is scheduled to be finished by the Summer of TwoThousand Ten.


If they ever really do rebuild the Naval Home, I think I may transfer down there, as that area is supposed to be a lot safer than here in Washington, D.C.

Also, they have their own private beach on the ocean.

I think it might be fun to camp out on the beach, build a little campfire, and play my guitar.

Shucks, maybe I could earn some money performing in the casinos.

I might even meet a female of the species!

Thank you.

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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