St. Lawrence County politicians urge state to keep jobs at Fort Drum, launch online petition
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 8:59 am

As local governments pass resolutions of support for Fort Drum, state Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, is teaming with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization and other local leaders to urge people to stand up for Fort Drum by signing an online petition at www.StandUpForDrum.com.

The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators has approved a resolution calling for the continued existence of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, as federal officials consider closing military bases around the country.

The Town of Potsdam is to take up a similar measure at its meeting Aug. 12.

“Ft. Drum is a huge part of the North Country—it’s a major job-creator, a significant part of our economy and its troops and their families are not only defenders of our freedom, they are also our friends and neighbors,” Sen. Ritchie said. “I’m joining forces with the FDRLO and local leaders to help send a clear message to the Army that Fort Drum is a vital part of our region, our state and our nation. Our community has welcomed Fort Drum and now, we need to stand together to show our continued support and eagerness to help the post grow and succeed.”

Ritchie represents the 48th Senate district. It includes northern St. Lawrence County from Massena to Hammond and goes as far south as Edwards and Fowler. It also covers Jefferson and Oswego counties.

The petition follows a proposal by the Army to assess the impact of reducing troop levels to numbers not seen since the beginning of World War II, Ritchie said. Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, which supports thousands of jobs and pumps roughly $1.4 billion into the local economy annually.

Those wishing to show their support for Fort Drum can sign Ritchie’s petition and share personal stories about what the post means to them at www.StandUpForDrum.com. The deadline to sign the petition is Aug. 25. Names will be added to those being collected by communities leaders and groups, like FDRLO and forwarded to the Army.