Post with the Most: Ft. Drum

This week we have with us Monica Blumberg from Ft. Drum.

1. Representatives Name: Monica Blumberg
2. Experience in Military: Wife of CPT Blumberg (4yrs) FRSA 63D Explosive Ordnance Disposal (2yrs)
3. Their Home State: Florida (GO GATORS!)
4. Other locations they’ve lived: Camp Walker, South Korea Fort Gordon, Ga and now Fort Drum, NY
Civilian areas; San Fransisco, Charleston, Flagstaff, Gainesville, Ft. Lauderdale, and Panama Central America

1. Post Name: Fort Drum
2. Post Location: Upstate NY
3. Major Units/What Post is “known for” (ie basic training, AIT, MP Headquarters etc): Light Infantry
4. Name of Surrounding Cities: Watertown
5. Closest MAJOR City: Syracuse, Lake Placid, Kingston Canada
6. How long have you been there? 1yr
7. What is housing like – on post/off post? (tell us about rental conditions, buying/selling, privatized or DoD housing – interesting policies etc): Most housing on post is new, but there are plenty of older homes. The wait is 12-18 months for on-post housing,which forces people to look out side of post for rentals and homes for sale. Both off post homes and rental leave a lot to be desired. Many homes are 70-100 years old. There is plenty of charm, but a lot of issues.
8. Rate the PX: 9
9. Rate the Commissary: 9
10. Rate MWR/ACS: 7
11. Active Spouse Club? The Enlisted Spouse club is very effective at recruits, but after emailing the Officer Spouse club several times when we first arrived, and not being contacted back I can tell they need some work.

Surrounding Area:
Note: In the following three please list annual events as well as things going on now…
1. Things to do ON POST: Gym, crafts, bowling, fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, dog parks, water play park, snow shoe, cross country ski, and snowmobile
2. Things to do in CITY AROUND POST: movies, putt putt, go karts, golf, beaches (lakes), comedy night in Sackets Harbor, bars, restaurants, snow board, hike, kayak, white water rafting, and wine tasting.
3. Things to do in MAJOR CITY OUTSIDE OF POST: Syracuse – huge mall, food, shop, bars, concerts, college basketball and airport
Kingston- historic sites, shopping, food, concerts, and bars
4. Major SPORTING, THEATRE, or CONCERT activities? University of Syracuse as a lot of sporting events. Concerts are always happening in Cuse or in Canada. New York City is 6 hrs away

Education/Out and About:
1. School System (how many districts, DOD schools, what are they like etc): We have several schools in the area Carthage, Blackriver, Philidelphia, and Watertown. I do not have children, but have hear that Blackriver and Carthage have the best schools in the area.
2. Area Colleges? Jefferson County Community College in Watertown.
3. Favorite Restaurants: Ruyi Japanese Steak House in Watertown
Stephano’s Pizzeria in Carthage
Tin Pan Galley in Sackets Harbor
4. Favorite Shopping (note: lack of shopping) The local Salmon Run Mall leaves a lot to be desired; however, Carousel Mall in Syracuse offers several stories of shopping include Pottery Barn, J Crew, Coach, Banana Republic, and Macy’s
5. Job Market Slim to none. This is an area that is strapped for cash. The Miilitary post is the only money pumper, so be prepared to compete with the locals for jobs.

Other Information:
1. Best aspect of the post (of the city surrounding?) There are a lot of wineries. If you like the outdoors, this is the post for you. it’s beautiful in spring and summer. Perfect temps, beautiful flowers, lots to do.
2. Worst aspect? Winter! 5 months of hell! It’s no fun having to shovel snow 3x a day.
3. Local websites – post website or MWR website post website or MWR website
4. Weather: Spring and summer are awesome. Fall offers gorgeous leaf changing. Winter starts in October with temps in the 50-40’s. January-March is the worst of it.



About Janet McIntosh

Janet has a passion for service and supporting military families. A military spouse herself, Janet knows a life in the military is full of ups and downs, but she also knows that there can be many rewards. She is eager to share her immense knowledge and experience with other military spouses. Janet has been affiliated with the military for seventeen years, having served as an active duty Soldier in the United States Army for two and a half years before leaving active duty to serve another six years in the Army Reserves / National Guard. Janet is very active in her military community. She has volunteered with several Family Readiness Groups (FRG) and installation spouse clubs. Janet has also volunteered as an ACS Army Family Team Building instructor and an Army Family Action Plan Facilitator. Janet also currently works for Blue Star Families as their Books on Bases Program Manager. Originally from Miami, FL, Janet continues to work as an advocate and voice for military families. She is married to SSG McIntosh, and has two beautiful children, Aiden & Alina. Janet holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University.

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