2014-01-24 / Spectrum

A disappointing weekend in January

When we talk about Fort Gordon in these pages, we can hardly be expected to be completely objective. The fact is, the Signal is a command information newspaper whose primary role is to help facilitate mission accomplishment for the military organizations assigned here. We do that by keeping their members informed about the things they need to know in order to prosper in our community. We’re not exactly impartial.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Signal gives the Fort Gordon community “two thumbs up,” all day, every day.

That’s why this next passage is so difficult to write. Sadly, our community let us down recently.

At some time over the weekend of January 11-12, vandals struck the Exchange Car Wash on Lane Avenue. Nozzles were ripped from hoses; a vacuum was damaged. Beer cans and liquor bottles littered the premises.

At this time, no suspects are in custody. Our military police would be interested in any information someone could provide on this incident, but let’s face it – the CSI team isn’t en route to throw the resources of a major police unit into solving this crime. In the grand scheme of things, this is pretty small potatoes.

But it’s disappointing and disturbing nonetheless. And, as a community, we can learn two things from it:

• We are not immune. Someone who has been given access to this community committed a senseless act of hooliganism, breaking things for the sheer pleasure of seeing them broken. This kind of wanton disregard for the social contract among members of a community is one of those things that we typically believe doesn’t happen here. Obviously, we were wrong.

• Vigilance is required, and more than one type of it is needed. We’ve all been told, “If you see something, say something,” and keeping watch over our town is important. But we should be equally watchful of ourselves and our associates, and give a gentle, friendly reminder when personal conduct nears the edge of acceptability. We don’t accept that a little mindless delinquency has to be tolerated now and then, and you shouldn’t accept it, either.

Our Exchange management team jumped into action as soon as the damage was discovered, and the car wash was back in full operation in no time. But the real damage in an incident like this is not what was broken at the car wash; it’s the broken trust among members of our community. We expect more of each other.

So we move forward. If you know anything about this crime, tell someone. And, if you know anything about the Fort Gordon community, you know it’s an aberration. Let’s keep it that way.

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