Father concerned about Ft. Bragg barracks

December 8, 2008 8:33:17 PM PST
The father of an 82nd Airborne soldier says his son's commanders are trying to cover-up a potentially deadly mistake.Evon Colchiski says his son was on a cleanup detail as punishment for violating Army regulations.

He says he's not trying to embarrass the 82nd Airborne, just trying to get them to move his son and other soldiers out of harm's way.

"I just hope the US Army does what is right; get these soldiers and my son out of these barracks," Colchiski said.

Colchiski says he is fighting for the heath of his son Jason and other 82nd soldiers.

He says last week they were ordered to rip up tiles in a store room in their barracks. Private lab testing showed the asbestos in the tiles was 25 times the EPA's toxic limit.

"This dormitory needs to be evacuated immediately," Colchiski said. "It should have been when this happened and these soldiers need to be checked."

Colchiski says his son was never given protective clothing of trained in asbestos removal.

In a YouTube statement a woman who identifies herself as Jason Cochiski's relative says the soldier's first Sgt. knew he was sending the soldiers into a potentially dangerous situation.

Click here to watch the YouTube video.

The Army says the room was sealed off, they say NC Health Department officials told them soldier's exposure was probably limited.

Still this Fort Bragg EPA Web site on environmental policy clearly states, buildings must be inspected for asbestos before any demolition or renovations.

A Fort Bragg spokesman confirmed Monday that policy was not followed.

Monday evening, 7th District Congressman Mike McIntyre issued a statement saying he is closely monitoring the situation and is "alarmed by the news that Bragg soldiers have potentially been in contact with asbestos while cleaning older barracks."

Colchiski worries the longer the soldiers stay in the barracks the greater the danger.

"This is a major health issue, that may not show up for 10, 20, 30 years and I'm going to have to live with my son if something happens down the road," Colchiski said.

Monday evening, an 82nd Airborne spokesman said the 1st Brigade unit's leaders are in contact with the soldier's families. Once they address the families and their concerns, they will issue a public statement. The spokesman says that could come as early as Tuesday.


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