Police standoff with another suicidal sailor leads to eviction threat for family

Last week there a navy man was arrested after a shotgun standoff with police.  The sailor apparently was suicidal.  This week the newspaper reported on another standoff where a sailor threatened to kill himself before surrendering to police.  The family of this second sailor is being threatened with eviction by the private company that runs the navy housing because of the threat the man poses to the neighbors.  The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports “Police standoff has Navy family facing eviction”  (August 29, 2012):

Pearl Harbor sailor Chad Carter, a sonar technician on the destroyer Chung-Hoon, his wife, Melissa, and their three children are being kicked out of their Forest City military housing after Chad Carter exhibited suicidal behavior and had a 12-hour standoff with police at the family’s Radford Terrace duplex.

An 18-year Navy man, his wife and their three children — one of whom is autistic — are being kicked out of their Forest City military housing because the sailor was stressed, threatened to take his life inside his home, and caused a 12-hour standoff with police before he was taken into custody, the man’s wife said.

“I am horrified that Forest City is trying to remove my family from military housing because they did not like the police in the neighborhood when I called thinking my husband might harm himself,” said Melissa Carter. “Suicide is a huge problem in the military right now, so I was shocked that my trying to get my husband help for what is quite possibly a military-related mental break is being treated so callously by private housing.”

The action raises the question as to privatized military housing operator responsibilities at a time when military stress is rising and well-documented.

Chad Carter, a 36-year-old sonar technician on the destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, was admitted to Tripler Army Medical Center’s psychiatric ward after the incident and will be in a civilian post-traumatic stress center for at least four weeks, his wife said.

The incident happened Aug. 14 in Radford Terrace housing. On Aug. 17, privatized military housing landlord Forest City sent the Carters a letter saying their month-to-month lease was being terminated and they had 45 days to move out.

In addition to the rising level of military stress-related violence and suicides, the incident raises the issue of the widespread privatization of military housing. According the Star Advertiser, “Forest City manages more than 6,500 Navy and Marine Corps homes in Hawaii under a public-private partnership with the military.”  Like privatized prisons or privatized low-income housing, does private military housing put profit before people?



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