MILITARY MATTERS: Newcomer's Bus Tour

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - If you haven't seen every inch of Fort Benning, you need not worry. Others haven't either.  But if you'd like to know more about the home of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, a tour is now available.

It's called the Newcomer's Bus Tour, a once-a-month event designed for Army spouses to familiarize themselves with all that's available on post.

The tour has given folks like New Jersey native Kait Buchter some direction. "I probably drive the same three places every time I come here, said Buchter, so it's cool to see what else they have to offer."  She's one of a dozen spouses who took the tour in February.

Fort Benning's Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) is in charge of the tour. It's conducted by publicity director Bridgett Siter, who says the word 'newcomer' may be a tad misleading.

"Yeah, primarily it's for newcomers, said Siter, but we have a young lady on here who was at Fort Benning 20 years ago. It's all new to her again, and so much has changed."

The bus makes three stops on the tour. First is the Auto Skills Center, where spouses learn about the services available for soldiers and their families.

The center specializes in oil changes, alignments and other automotive repairs, as explained by operations manager Allen Singleton. "One of our main focuses is to provide them with services that'll save them money, said Singleton, try to keep them here on post where we can take good care of them."

The second stop is MWR's Outdoor Recreation Center, where we catch up with Kenneth Lee the lone male spouse on the bus.

When asked how it feels to be the only guy on the tour, Lee responds with a huge grin and says, "Feels like a lot of love."

Speaking of love, we spoke with Marcy Matthews, a newlywed from Maine, about her first venture below the Mason Dixon line.

"Well, so far my impression has been that people in the South are very friendly, said Matthews, a little slower pace than New Englanders, but I like it. I like it a lot actually."

We think you will too.

The tour is conducted on the third Thursday of each month and concludes with a complimentary lunch at the Benning Conference Center.  For more information check out the tour on the MWR calendar.

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