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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Soldiers' Home Response to WASHINGTON POST

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

Here is the official response by the administration here at the Ol' Soldiers' Home to the news article published in the "WASHINGTON POST" newspaper on Tuesday 21 February 2006.


The URL for that news report is:

The URL for the "WASHINGTON POST" newspaper is:

The URL for the Ol' Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C. is:



Sunday, 05 March 2006


The Armed Forces Retirement Home, one of the nation's oldest retirement communities for veterans, is crafting a master plan to address its chronic financial problems and to guide and control development on its Northwest campus for the next twenty-five years.

Congress has authorized the Home to use its most valuable asset, its land, to generate revenue.

Unfortunately, a small group of critics is misrepresenting the Home's intentions, ignoring the needs of veterans and demanding that the Home give up twenty-four of its acres for public use ("GROWTH FIGHT INVADES SOLDIERS' REFUGE; Retirement Home's Proposal Infuriates D.C. Neighbors," the METRO Section, Tuesday 21 February 2006).

Despite the overheated rhetoric of some of these critics, the Home has no intention of building skyscrapers or strip malls, or of paving over the campus.

The plan focuses development on the edges of the campus to keep the green core untouched.

It requires developers to respect green buffers and set aside acres of open space.

It keeps a federal buffer around the campus, which includes a national historic monument - - - the so-called Lincoln Cottage that Abraham Lincoln used as a summer White House.

The density of the new development will amount to only a fraction of the density just across the street at the Washington Hospital Center.

The height of the new buildings will be less than the height of existing buildings on campus and neighboring hospital buildings.

The Home intends to lease the land, not sell it, to maintain control.

In response to public calls for more open space, the Home has added bicycle and foot paths and pocket parks, and it has focused initial development efforts in a section of campus most distant from the residential neighborhood.

It also put on hold two development zones bordered by Park Place and Rock Creek Church Road adjacent to a residential neighborhood.

The plan calls for construction of housing in those zones similar to that across the street from the campus.

But some neighbors are demanding that the Home give up this acreage for their use.

They complain about the erosion of open space and cite the 1902 McMillan Plan as a template for preservation in Washington.

They ignore the fact that construction of their own homes and the amenities for their neighborhood contributed to this erosion of open space.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home campus once stretched across more than five hundred acres.

Nearly half that land was lost to construction of hospitals, educational and religious facilities, and city roads, all of which benefit this area of Washington.

The traffic triangles in which neighborhood children play were once part of the Home.

The critics who are eager to seize the veterans' land for a public park ignore a twenty-five acre parcel just a few blocks away at the McMillan Reservoir.

This parcel has languished since the city purchased it from the federal government nearly twenty years ago.

To take away any more land from veterans who already have given so much is unconscionable.

This land was purchased with booty obtained by General Winfield Scott during the Mexican War in the mid-Nineteenth Century; it was designated for the housing of elderly and disabled veterans.

This institution has been maintained by the payroll deductions of active-duty members of the military for generations.

This is not just another piece of federal land.

The federal government has held this land in trust for veterans for more than one hundred fifty years, and we have an obligation to make sure it is used for their benefit.

Timothy Cox
Chief Operating Officer
Armed Forces Retirement Home.


You may wish to share this information with others.

If so, please be considerate and conceal the identities of multiple recipients, in order to preserve their privacy.

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Thank you.

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

"My personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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