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One week left to sign letters against Fort Campbell cuts - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

One week left to sign letters against Fort Campbell cuts

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Fort Campbell could face major cuts impacting cities in two states. Now, local leaders are hoping to stop it from happening with one more week of online signatures.

"We need thousands, and I can't stress that enough," said Rep. Joe Pitts. "We need thousands of letters to be sent. We have the opportunity to influence the outcome of this decision. We're not reacting. We're trying to be proactive, and this is one way we can do it."

Across the walls at Marie Carter's Clippers-N-Shears barbershop in Clarksville are shots of her military haircuts.

"I've been over here a little more than two years," said Carter. "Most of my customers are Fort Campbell."

It's the possibility of a very different kind of military cut that has her worried for the other businesses down Fort Campbell Boulevard.

"Without customers, I won't survive," said Carter. "I don't cut hair, I don't eat for the rest of the day. I'm a single mother. How am I going to feed my children?"

Carter's heard about an army assessment released last month that looks at a scenario in which the Fort Campbell population drops by 16,000 by 2020. That's half the post's population. The study said that scenario could mean a drop of 40,000 people total and a loss of nearly $1 billion to the surrounding areas.

"I'll put it like this, I will eat noodles for twenty more years, so we need some help here," said Carter.

"We're looking at two states that would be devastated," said Pitts. "Obviously, unemployment would go up immediately because the soldiers and civilian workforce would be touched."

Fort Campbell officials are emphasizing that right now, this is only a study, but local leaders like Pitts are still pushing the letter campaign. Up until Monday, anyone can get on the Clarksville city or Montgomery County websites to sign a letter asking for no further cuts at Fort Campbell. County officials said 5,600 have signed the letters soon being sent to congressional representatives.

"Every single business in this market as well as the southern Kentucky market is touched by the military," said Pitts. "We can't afford not to do this."

Carter said she just hopes the letter writing plan works to keep the only military cut she worries about the kind pictured on her walls. 

"Without Fort Campbell, Clarksville and Christian County's not going to survive," said Carter.

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