Greenville National Guard Armory among 13 closing statewide

GREENVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Non-commissioned Officer Chris Stinson couldn't ask for a better work environment.

"This is a perfect location for me. I live in Greenville. I'm four miles from the house here."

You can imagine news of the Greenville National Guard Armory closing wasn't easy for him to hear.

"There's not really a choice sometimes, but it's my job so I'm not complaining. I just do my job and do it the best I can," he says.

Greenville's armory isn't the only one. To cut costs the Alabama National Guard is closing more than a dozen armories including Georgiana, Ozark, Union Springs and Wetumpka.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon says he knew this would happen months ago.

"We're disappointed that it's closing."

Many may say the armory closing is a bad thing, but Greenville officials are already working to turn this situation around for the good.

"We believe that we're going to have another National Guard Armory and that's what we're going to continue to work on. And it's going to be bigger and better," says McLendon.

Mclendon says when he found out the armory was shutting down he started calling National Guard officials suggesting plans to build a brand new armory to serve the entire region.

"We're in the right place. We're halfway between Birmingham and Mobile. We're halfway between Atlanta and New Orleans and it's easy to get to," he says.

"That would be great. I'm hoping that maybe it would come within my time," adds Stinson.

If that happens, the mayor hopes the National Guard would donate the old armory building to the city--to turn it into a fire station.

"We've got a great chance here to have something very very nice," says McLendon.

According to the National Guard, no units will be eliminated.  They will be moved to other facilities. The guard says the 13 facilities that are closing are in poor condition and expensive. These closures will save the Alabama Guard $7 million dollars.

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