Bragg neighbors prepare for sleepless nights during training


While the training is needed to keep the Marines sharp when they go to war, the noise and vibrations will create sleepless nights from those who live near post.

The training is conducted annually at Fort Bragg because it's the closest place the Marines can fire big guns.

Massive 155 millimeter Howitzers can fire rounds about 35 miles down range and land within 50 meters of a target, creating a hardship for those who live next to Fort Bragg.

"I dread that," Fayetteville resident Cheryl Baker said. "I really do. I know that's probably their mission but it's unbelievable."

Four years ago, Baker told her realtor she didn't want to live too close to post because of the potential for noise. She was told she wouldn't hear the bombs in her neighborhood, but she not only hears them, she can feel them too.

"When I first moved here I thought every window in my house was going to break," she explained. "You can literally hear the windows shaking. And even if I'm laying in my bed, my whole bed shake, and it's kind of nerve racking."

Now she believes the big guns are having a direct impact on her health.

"Oh yes, when I first moved here I went to the VA Hospital for treatment of migraines because I had no idea why I had these severe headaches," Baker added. "And it was because of the bombings and the severe lack of sleep."

The problem is obvious. The only thing that separates all of the homes in Baker's neighborhood from Fort Bragg is a fire break. It's a post and when the bombing starts, it's noisy and it's relentless.

Carrie Eaton agrees. She also lives near post and says the noise from the artillery training nearly shakes the French doors in her house off its hinges.

"When I first moved in, the house was empty and you would just hear them rattle cause every house you have just it has a new sound," Eaton said. "Whenever they would bomb and stuff you could hear the doors rattling."

Military leaders know the noise is a pain, so there are some restrictions in place. The Marines won't fire larger than battalion sized missions from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily or between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon on Sundays.

Training will wrap up on March 21.

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