Fort Ord

Erika Mahoney

The smoke plume over the Monterey Bay Thursday came from two controlled burns on the former Fort Ord. The burns are part of the ongoing cleanup of the old Army base.

Erika Mahoney

A new health clinic opening on the former Fort Ord will serve both active duty military and veterans. It’s an early effort by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to work together on health care.

Steven L. Shepard, Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs

The Pentagon is pushing Congress to shut down more military bases. The objective is to save money, just as it was 20 years ago when Fort Ord closed. 

Many lawmakers don’t like the idea because it means cutting jobs in their communities. So Congress has fought base closure for more than a decade.

Military communities like Monterey, have used that time to get ready.

Erika Mahoney

A new campground is coming to a former Fort Ord firing range.  The California Coastal Commission approved a permit for California State Parks to build the campground in Fort Ord Dunes State Park. 

Doug McKnight

Since the day it opened last year, the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery has been a cemetery that lacked in-ground burials.  Right now, it only has space for cremated remains.  But that will change with a new infusion of funds. 

Doug McKnight

The new veteran’s cemetery on the former Fort Ord just opened Tuesday and has already added additional staff to handle a flood of burial inquiries. With nearly 2000 applications approved, the Central Coast Veteran’s Cemetery is performing five services a day.

Doug McKnight

 

Land where soldiers once trained for war is now a final resting place for those who served. The Central Coast Veterans Cemetery on the former Fort Ord opened Tuesday with a dedication ceremony.   

Krista Almanzan

Any day now the Army hopes to resume prescribed burns on the former Fort Ord.  It’s part of the clean-up process, which began when the Army base closed more than 20 years ago.

To find out what happens after the smoke clears, I took a rare trip into the burn area with Lyle Shurtleff.  He’s Munitions Response Manager for the Fort Ord Environmental Cleanup.  

Krista Almanzan

Judith Quinones lays out pictures of her late husband Abel on an ottoman in the living room of her assisted living community.

“This is my favorite one of Abel.  He looks nice.   I just love it,” says Quinones holding a photo of a younger Abel.  It was taken before he rose to the rank of Master Chief in the Navy where he served around the world including in Vietnam. 

Krista Almanzan

The military is in Wilma Hall-McKenzie’s blood.   “I’ve been an Army brat all my life.  My dad was in the Army for 30 years, and my husbands were both in the Army,” says Hall-McKenzie.

She first moved to the Central Coast in 1953 when her father was stationed at Fort Ord.  Life as a military daughter, and later a military wife has taken her all over the world, but always brought her back here.

So when her mom died in 2000, then her dad in 2009 and her second husband in 2012, there was really no question as to what to do with their ashes. 

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