Cops mistake Army patrol base for homeless camp
MRE trash was everywhere and they were digging holes.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Following the passage of a new law in Tennessee criminalizing homeless camps on public land, authorities on Wednesday raided and arrested an infantry platoon inhabiting a patrol base in the woods of Fort Campbell, which overlaps the border between Tennessee and Kentucky.
“We received numerous reports of a gathering of 40 to 50 foul-smelling individuals, trying to conceal their presence in a thickly-wooded, sparsely traversed portion of the base’s training area,” said Tennessee State Trooper Tom McClintock.
Authorities were warned that the group was armed but encountered little resistance when entering what they believed was a gathering of vagrants.
“Someone yelled ‘claymore’ and we heard a dirty M240B bolt malfunction, but most of the group was sound asleep,” McClintock said. “There was one individual relieving himself in a hole. He saw us and yelled to another man, ‘go wake up the LT.’ I’m not sure they ever found whoever ‘LT’ is.”
The platoon of infantrymen initially reacted with confusion after being told they were in violation of Tennessee law, but upon learning that they would get to eat and sleep where they were going, they left without any further protest.
“It was sort of sad,” remarked one Trooper on the scene. “Everyone had green and black smeared all over their faces. There were a lot of young-looking guys sort of deliriously but nervously stumbling around, and then a really angry guy in his late 30s who was just yelling at everyone and muttering about ‘sensitive items’ and ‘sector sketches.’
“Lunacy,” he added.
“We’ve got to clean this state up,” McClintock said. “These people should pursue meaningful employment, rather than taking donated uniforms and backpacks from surplus stores and spending all of their money on dip and military rations.”
Another trooper described the encampment as being in rough shape, with the inhabitants making no effort to shield themselves from the elements.
“No half-shelters, fires, or anything,” the trooper said. “Why would they choose to live like that? What kind of drugs are they doing?”
Task Force Football Bat reports on patrol base innovation and sector sketch theory for Duffel Blog.