WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — They put everything on the line to serve our country, but many military families say their living conditions are hazardous from toxic mold to bug and rodent infestations.
Ninety-nine percent of military housing is run by private companies. SPC Rachel Kilpatrick traveled from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Washington D.C. to speak out about her dangerous living conditions.
"During the hurricane, our ceiling caved in and we became exposed to mold during that time and my husband now has permanent asthma," says Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick says her kids got sick too, and her house wreaked of mildew.
"When we first moved in, there was cat urine everywhere, pet dander. We had told them when we first moved in that my husband had allergies and we couldn’t be in a home with cats," she says.
Kilpatrick is not alone. Other military families are speaking out about what they call unsafe and dangerous conditions in privatized housing on bases.
They are taking their concerns as far as Capitol Hill.
"As a former commander and former fellow patriot, I’m infuriated by what I’m hearing today. This is disgusting," says Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The committee is trying to get answers. Representatives from five private housing companies, including the one that owns Kilpatrick’s home, testified before the senators.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to their families and we need to help," says Corvias Group CEO John Picerne.
In a statement to Gray Television, Corvias Group says it’s "hiring a world-renowned specialist – at no cost to the government to review our mold/mildew procedures."
Kilpatrick says she hopes someone will be watching the housing companies closer.
"Active duty members shouldn’t be getting this sick from their housing. Nobody should," she says.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who sits on the Armed Service Committee, says he wants legislation to protect tenants and penalize the private housing companies if they’re not maintaining a safe environment for residents.