Why the Military Should Inspect Your Home Today


If there’s one thing I know about many MilSpouses, it’s that we do NOT like the concept of the military telling us what to do.

Which is why the idea of “home inspections” can really stick in our craws. The military? Ordering us to let them look around our houses? I don’t think so. They are already a part of SO much of our lives. Must they come into our homes, too?

Military home inspections are a common tool used by commands to make sure everything with a servicemember’s home life is A-OK  — that the utilities are on, that the kids are well-cared for, that the house isn’t being used as a meth lab and pretty much anything else. While these inspections are most often done by NCOs for their team members, it’s not unheard of for home inspections to be done on the officer corps.

Those who live on-base can be required to comply with an inspection. Those who live off-base have the right to refuse, but officials can still come to their doors and ask.

The subject of home inspections is a hot one right now on several active military spouse Facebook community pages after a vocal Facebook Army girlfriend, Khouri Nicole Fritsch, was arrested Feb. 17, along with her boyfriend, on charges of child neglect and abuse. Khouri’s two babies — a one-year-old and a 3-month-old — were found to be living in filthy conditions after she called police to her house during a domestic dispute. From this story (and the police report):

… ‘Barely enough room to walk throughout the residence due to trash, broken furniture and other miscellaneous items being scattered about.’ While the officers were investigating the domestic dispute, they observed large amounts of dog feces on the floor throughout the residence, bags full of trash as well as soiled diapers on the floor in most of the rooms and a steak knife had been left on the floor in easy access to the children.  Flies, ants and roaches as well as old food and old bottles were also found throughout the house.

In the living room there was large gaps between the outside walls and the floor, letting in cold air, that were large enough for a small child to fall into.  The house had a strong odor of feces, urine and trash.  At the time of the investigation into the domestic dispute, neither child was clothed except for diapers.

So what is the reason the story has blown-up the pages, including  “Army Wives Do it With Hooah,” a page with almost 20,000 “likes?”

Home inspections. Khouri had recently complained on the “Do it With Hooah” page that her boyfriend’s command wanted to do a home inspection. She complained that the command had no right to come into her home, in part, she said, because they lived off-post and weren’t married.

I can guess why she didn’t want a home inspection.

It’s also clear why home inspections, while irritating in theory, are important.

But they are also time consuming. To do them officials have to take time out of training or their off-hours to drive around and visit homes. Doesn’t sound exactly like fun, does it? So home inspections are one of those things that fall through the cracks. Some units have a standard that they be done quarterly for all members. Others only do them when suspicions arise that one might be needed.

If Khouri was complaining about the prospect, her boyfriend’s command obviously knew something was up. I reached out yesterday to Khouri through several channels to get her perspective on what happened – but got no response.

Facebook, of course, is rampant with rumors about her actions and behavior both online and off (most of which are far from flattering). But one comment on the “… Do it With Hooah” thread got my attention.

“I know (her) peeps and she’s not a druggy, just doesn’t keep a very clean home. And yes they needed help with money and things because, well, they’re not good at budgeting, AND because he’s not married they don’t get as much money as the rest of us who are married get to claim more so we have more income and tax returns. She doesn’t get all that, so they are in need,” commented Facebook user Lisa Pearson Frampton. “They do not spend wisely, I do know that for a fact. But I think she should get her kids back. They LOVE their kids so much, just she needs a chance to clean up her house and take parenting classes. … This is just very very sad, and very embarrassing. I feel soooooooo bad for those innocent babies!!”

While I think this commenter underplays how unacceptable it is for those babies to live the way were found, I think she does strike a point here. Khouri needs a chance to clean-up her house and take parenting classes.

But would either of those things ever happen if a home inspection (or, in this case, a police visit) had not taken place? Probably not.

Home inspections are one of the important tools the military — and the military community — uses to protect those who cannot protect themselves and to help spouses (or girlfriends) who need guidance. Just like the Air Force spouse who was accused of killing her 2-year-old by ignoring her in her crib for days on end, some are not strong enough to take care of themselves, much less their children. As spouses it is our job to stand in the gap and, when necessary, suggest a home visit or make a phone call to the city’s child services.

So maybe once a quarter (or “as needed”) isn’t enough. Maybe home inspections should be mandatory (or, if living off base, at least a knock on the door) at least bi-monthly. If conducting them is the thing that keeps children out of danger or spouses from hurting themselves, are they too much to ask?

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

85 Comments on "Why the Military Should Inspect Your Home Today"

  1. Richard Collins | February 19, 2013 at 8:28 am |

    This Khouri person sounds like she should be on “Hoarding – Buried Alive” are as bad ad they were described, then her children should be removed from the house. No child should have to be brought up in conditions like that. Legal charges should have been brought up on Khouri and her boyfriend. Khouri clean your act up and take proper care.of.the children and clean that stinky, dirty house up! You want.to play adult, why don’t you act like a responsible one!

  2. This us just another of so many reasons I am glad I am not in the military any longer. This is another reason I will do everything in my power for my children not to serve in the military. What a crock this is. This is what happens when you want a rainbow feel good Army. Enjoy.

    • Ron, child services can gain access to your home as a civilian too, they need empirical evidence but that is not hard to get in some cases.

      Your disdain for the Army seems to be based on just your experience. Further this is not the result of "..a rainbow feel good Army." it is the result of a need for ensuring that not only households are in good order but that the parents get counseling as well. Often people are not capable of caring for themselves, I know I have had soldiers who lived in the barracks that can not keep their rooms clean and did not shower.

      It (home inspections) are not meant to be an intrusion or for the chain of command to abuse as a means to "screw" with people. Your post says it all though.

  3. The stories listed are tragic really, and while I don't relish the thought of the military seeping even more into my personal life, I don't see how home inspections within the military are a whole lot different than child services stopping by in the civilian realm. Unfortunately, there are people in the world that for one reason or another are not in a position to care for themselves and their children and if submitting to home inspections on my part and refusing to balk at the intrusion in any way helps a child in need, then I will gladly swallow my pride and do it. Although, we've been in the army for six years and have never had a home inspection, even when we lived on post. I suppose if it really bothers you, then be above reproach and you're unlikely to face one.

  4. You absolutely do NOT have to comply with a command initiated home inspection, even if you live on post. Period. You do not give up your Constitutional rights when you swear to uphold and defend the Constitution. Period. If there is suspected neglect in the home, the command should call ACS (Army) or the appropriate child welfare office. The reason I am so confident about this is because I was a lawyer for the Army who advised Soldiers and families on this very issue. I also have worked as a child welfare attorney, representing kids who have been taken from their family due to "neglect." As a child welfare worker, I saw how easy it was for social workers and others to pass judgment on others and the way they live. Some families are so poor they have to choose between formula and garbage bags. Seriously.

    • Did you not read the description of the home? Animal feces and dirty diapers all over the floor? Being poor has nothing to do with one's ability to make their home clean. Home inspections for base housing are reasonable, if not for the children's welfare but for the simple fact that these are basically rental homes and the landlord (the government) has every right to ensure that the current residents do not make the home uninhabitable for future renters.

      • Did YOU read the above article? They live OFF post. No government entity was allowing them use of the property. And while I agree that it was disgusting and the children should be moved temporarily, I also agree that the mother should be given parenting classes and a chance to clean up her home. Either way, a sad time for this family and a sneaky point to support home visits, however, it doesn't sit well with me to have a "mandatory" home visit regardless of where that home is, unless there was a situation that warranted it – like the "domestic situation" in the article — in which case it should be by cps. If the home is that way because of stress due to the active duty members actions, then the command should be involved, but not otherwise.

        • Actually I did read the article. My statement about base housing inspections was in response to Amy's suggestion about mandatory inspections. Commands have power on base and I don't know how much authority they can exert off base so I didn't feel the need to mention off base housing. In response to your statements, my husband has inspected a few homes on base and when it was found that conditions made the home uninhabitable for health and safety, he did give them a day or so to clean up before reinspection. She may have been better off if they had been in base housing and the command got involved before it reached the point that her kids had to be taken from the home.

        • Amy, where is my comment?

    • Mike Hatcher | February 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm |

      if you'll notice when you drive on post or base which ever you prefer, there is a sign that clearly states that ALL property is subject to search at anytime. Additionally when you accept Military family housing, you also sign a paper that says you consent to periodic inpetions of your quarters for morale and health. So your statement about your constitutional rights is dead wrong, be sure to read your contract with the MFH office, I'm sure there is a copy or even the original in your file.

      • Not entirely true. We still have to get consent to search or the 4th amendment precludes it's use in proceedings. If a sailor refused voluntary consent urinalysis, and we had enough to go on, the CO could sign an order to search, but then the results were barred from use at court-martial.
        Similarly, if a sailor onboard refused a health & comfort of their rack, we'd have to get the same order, and then all the H&C would accomplish would be to let us know if something was wrong, but we couldn't USE the evidence.
        Just because we put up signs claiming so doesn't mean your rights are simply waived. It's a bit messier than that.

    • Your argumanet is moot, if the quarters are on base,, evrything on base is sybject to search, (lest you forget the UCMJ overides anyones "constitutional" rights) and off base, if they are receiving BHA or any other subsidy, if they are "entitled" to that, then the command in "entitled" to search the premises for the purposes of "maintinaining good order" for the service member in his quarters. otherwiase pull the benefits and move him only into the barracks!

    • manuel landron | February 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

      According to the article this lady had a baby just a month ago. Some women suffer some sort of post partum depression that can lead to that behavior. She should get help to see if this is the case.

      • Well, three months ago … but yes, that's definitely a possibility. Like I said, I reached out to her multiple times but didn't hear back.

    • That's where you proved you know not of which you speak. If you live on post, you have no option but to allow them to inspect your home, if it is on base. First, it's the government property, not yours. They do not have to allow you to live on post. Second, I wouldn't expect you to know any better, as you area child welfare worker, not a servicemember.

  5. There are a number of reasons why home inspections are so very important.
    It gives leadership a chance to FIND and KNOW where a soldier lives, if there is a problem that needs their attention. This allows for a prompt response from them, or good directions for law enforcement if they are needed.
    They can observe the conditions of the home and of the way the home is kept. This is not their way of seeing if you, your spouse, or children leave dirty towels on the floor. This is more like their way of making sure that guns are not left in an easy-to-access place for our little rug-rats, or knives (like the one mentioned in the story) are not left on the floor for the babies to get. It, also, makes sure that your landlord isn't letting the roof fall in and that your housing (on or off post) is livable.
    This is also one of the ways that I had my first opportunity to meet my husbands chain of command.
    Sometimes, it's about getting connected. I'm sure a good many of us can agree that there are times when a home visit is the only thing you can do to connect with a spouse and their family.

    • I don't need that kind of :leadership"; any so-called "leader" that thinks he has any business checking on me in my private home has lost my respect. It certainly does not foster connection; it breeds resentment, and rightfully so.

      • I'll just say that from personal experience and personal observations, I respectfully disagree with you.

  6. While this story is tragic and I am glad that the children were removed from the home, to extend this to everyone should give up their constitutional rights is asinine and bad advice.
    I keep an immaculate home, but I would never comply with an inspection because the military has no right to enter my premises any more than the police do without probably cause. With probably cause and a warrant, they can be my guest. My husband fights for my constitutional rights. I won't cede what he's willing to earn in blood.

    • Thank you! Everyone assumes you have something to hide if you don't want them in your house. If you live in an apartment, you already have to deal with the landlord, fire dept, bug man, etc. Coming to your house and entering when you're not there. Why on earth do you want another person inspecting your house/apt?! It just starts to feel like and invasion of privacy. If your employer can't trust you then they shouldn't have hired you. What's next, every employer will start visiting their employees at home. If there's a report of neglect for people that live on base, then the base should handle it. I don't live on base so you can't come to my home.

  7. This post gives a very bad summary of what happened. The military wasn't involved in this at all, Khouri's complaint about home inspections was completely irrelevant. Plenty of us who have nothing to hide would also complain about having our privacy violated. The police went to Khouri and her BF's home because of a domestic dispute, then were called back again by neighbors, which is when they discovered the terrible condition of the home.

  8. I am not sure about other branches, or even every installation…but here in Army land health and welfare inspections are all but illegal at this point for NCOICs to conduct without a ton of paperwork and Command directive, due to privacy laws. This frequently causes my husband headaches because he isn't sure how he is supposed to be held responsible for domestic violence, child issues…et all with his soldiers, if he isn't allowed to do health and welfare inspections. As I see it, the military needs to decide whether NCOICs are truly responsible for soldiers, am if they are…then they need to reinstate health and welfare inspections. Otherwise, you can't routinely hold the NCOICs responsil fo soldiers behavior, when their hands are tied from the get go.

  9. Personally, I'd like to see NCOICs treated like their civilian mid management counterparts. It should not be my husband's responsibility to babysit, financially counsel, intervene in domestic violence etc. And yet NCOICs can still have their careers ruined over soldier's family issues, they have no control over.

  10. This seems like a hot button issue, and I'm sorry for her children. No children should have to live in those conditions. We are blessed that we have the resources available like parenting and financial classes to attend for free (though I'm not sure if she does since she's not married).

  11. As a Marine who has lived both on and off base, I must first state that I NEVER minded an inspection. I had nothing to hide. Also, rent/BAH was paid for with government funds! The government has multiple reasons for inspections. We, as military members, whether you like it or not, are "ambassadors" within the covilian sectors in which we reside. Being accountable for the maintenance and cleanliness is not unreasonable! As a Marine you face a barracks inspection EVERY Thursday. Preventative maintenance and cleaning has allowed living spaces to endure the long periods of use; with many still in use from Post WWII. While living off-base, I had an NCO who checked our usints quarterly( and sometimes for those who had issues which weren't corrected, more often) not only for cleanliness but to notify the landlord the Marine Corps would neither condone poor living conditions of the property nor allow the military member to be taken advantage of and "black-list" the offenders. There IS a difference between disorganized and unsanitary and the latter will only eventually prove a factor in a member being unprepared for deployment. (financially, physically or emotionally/psychologically etc. or a combination there of) I can also say, when I became the one conducting the inspections of dwellings, both on and off base I allowed for personal minor "idiosyncrocies" as long as it was not a danger to anyone or the dwelling. As for those who defend not having the inspections, these also serve to explain a lot of "discipline violations." Many of those who can't and/or don't keep a cleanly and orderly home have a lack of drive in such things as: i.e. unkempt uniforms or being late repeatedly with excuses such as they couldn't find their alarm clocks or their iron.

      • There is no finding needed, why does everything need to be funded? As for man power that is provided, and pretty simple to conduct if you ask me. Sequestration has no impact on this at all.

        • It will if as Amy proposes, we spend all that time and money driving to every off-post house every other month. Even on a frigate you are talking about 200 people to check up on. That's at least a week in HRT traffic to visit every home. Plus gas to get there. Plus the vehicle. Plus all the stuff the service members dispatched aren't getting done while their running around doing basically nothing. Stop being ridiculous. We need training and repairs not babysitting.

    • Inspect my barracks room all you like (I'm a geobachelor). Come to inspect my family's house, and I will send you packing. Having nothing to hide is NEVER a valid excuse for intrusion, and just because you're ok with it, don't expect me to be. That's how we got to such a sorry state where too many civilian cops and judges think the 4th amendment is a petty inconvenience.

  12. Just curious. But what instruction requires commands to conduct inspections of housing?

  13. Lauren got it right. ……..That is why the deplorable conditions were found…..Khouri sounds like an immature, uneducated, moron. I could care less about her…. It is about the KIDS!!!!!!!……One thing for an adult to live like swine, but don't do that to babies…..Personally, I say kudos to the Cops and the Army….Hopefully, the children will be placed in loving homes….And don't tell me she loves her kids, no mother would let them live that way….

  14. the army has no right in a home that is off base and occupied by people other than military personel. that being said if all of the adults that live in the home are service members, oh well.

  15. Is this an "Army thing" or is it something that is new service-wide? We spent 30 years in the Air Force. Not once, on or off base, did anyone ever come to do a home inspection, except when we were fixing to PCS, and that type of inspection has been around for decades. None, and I do mean none, of our friends or neighbors at the numerous bases we were stationed at were inspected either.

    I'm not going to get into whether I think it's right or wrong. That is not for me to decide. I would just like to know how long this sort of thing has been going on and if it's service-specific.

    • Jenny — From everything I find out this is more common in the Army but is not unheard of in any service.

  16. fortleonardwood90 | February 20, 2013 at 8:58 am |

    chairman Mao said they do that for your own well being.

  17. Finally! Equal treatment between the barracks and family housing! I remember when this policy was only used to “inspect” barracks. Live with it or move off base.

    • Eaglemt,

      This policy has been around for a bit longer than I have served (24 years). Your statement is based on one sides argument of preferential treatment as perceived by you. Again if the shoe were on the other foot your opinion may be different.

  18. Military Cop here. No one in the military is so poor, sanitation is not possible, I can't name off all the programs there to help troops. Hell, one of my supervisors was on food stamps, there is always a way when your struggling. Family advocacy has the ability to help you with your problems and give you guidance on parenting and family survival. Call them, they will help you locate the things you need.

    As for probable cause, every-time you blast your radio I will come in. Every time you get loud after the sun sets, I will come in. If your kids look filthy, I will come in. Its government housing, and probable cause has been established in a cookie cutter pattern, so much that I have a simple check list to go by. Try me… 300 cases and I haven't had one thrown out.

    If you do get help, if you let your children live like this… I will charge you. I will attempt to send you to Fort Leavenworth and have the County send your spouse to the local prison. I will ram every piece of evidence down JAGS throat and spend 72 hours annotating every piece of trash on the "crime scene."

    Too many dead babies on base for second chances. I will not give you any. If you want your "right" to abuse children in quiet, do it on your own time as a civilian. Don't disparage my fellow vets, my country, my Military FAMILY by abusing yours in the dark.

    • Alain the archetype | February 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

      Brother the TSA needs you bad. The new military producing control freaks by the score. The nanny state in camo with an attitude … disgusting .. but you will do well in this new world of police on every corners and a camera in every room. Freedom .. what would YOU know about it.. so how the heck can you fight for it ..as I said you will do well in the TSA or euthanasia panel deciding who looks good enough to live. The RIGHT to be secure in our persons and property USED to be taught in the military now they appear content to teach thuggery control freak 101.

  19. When a troop leader, I used to conduct both barracks and home inspections regularly, primarily of my most junior Soldiers. I was less concerned with how they were living than how they were being treated by the Housing Office and their landlords. Rarely did I find a problem with their standards. Often I discovered they did not understand their rights to expect Housing and Landlords to resolve mechanical and safety issues in the properties they occupied. Had I not visited with them and their families both on and off post, many would have continued to accept sub-standard housing. Taking care of Soldiers and their families is a responsibility of all leaders. This is just one aspect of doing so. Frankly, the gratitude of the spouses who finally got the heat or air conditioning or plumbing fixed as a result of my intervention will always outweigh the resentment of the few who felt I was intruding.

    • Alain the archetype | February 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm |

      You are so full of it.. obviously you prefer 'security' or HELP from big brother to privacy.. you a Pentagon policy troll or just a fool

  20. I'm a mil spouse, we live on base. I agree with the Marine and many others….if you have nothing to hide…then go right ahead. The bozo that said…they would never allow their children to join…what a coward!! "Rtee"…good for you!! I second that!! And we are buying a home…if they needed to inspect that…go right ahead!! Some of you posting need to pull your heads out of your behind!! Geez.

  21. the NAZI's are here again and they are disguised as "the we know what is best for you brigade"Come on people what is wrong with this picture military members still have a few rights I think, altho with the liberals in charge I'm sure those won't last long.

  22. Lawrence Ekdahl, | February 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |

    INSPECT MILITARY OWNED HOUSING, YES< but civilian housing W/O permissionor or a legal search warrent, NO!

  23. Maybe the Chain of Command needs to stop being concerned with how time consuming inspections are or how upset someone's wife will be because they are going to go in to "her house" and step up to the plate. Two cases that could have been prevented with an inspection.
    An inspection does not "stick in my craw," in fact I wish it was used more often. The command does not go through ones entire home. An inspection is to ensure that housing needs are being met, that a service members living conditions are acceptable and that a family is ok. Imagine how different the lives of these children could be if the command had done an inspection before it became and abuse situation.
    Those that oppose a command inspection are more than welcome to live without their service member and without the benefits of bah. Since BAH is for housing, the government has every right to see what their money is paying for!

  24. Thank you for mentioning my page. I’m glad I helped bring attention to this. You already know my thoughts since read my post lol — creator & owner of *Army Wives Do It With Hooah*

    • Thanks Jamie for pointing out this story! I try not to be a silent stalker all the time ;-). Keep doing what you're doing!

  25. Here is a story I am not proud to share.

    i was a mom that could be on hoarders. and i should have been but instead cps came to my home and took my kids like in this case and command came out and everything. I was a hoarder, you can over come this. it takes work and wanting too.

    I got my kids back in a week with many follow ups from cps and the military. In 2 days we cleaned out the hoarder house and then moved (had to military wanted us closer to base) and threw away 95% of what we owned.

    I know for me I was raised in a home like that and didn't know any better, I had to learn. I had to learn why I did it. And I watch for triggers now.

    What this women needs is help not a flogging from the internet, she needs to start counseling to understand the roots behind these actions, it's not just not cleaning. Also if she was raised that she may not know how to clean believe it or not people don't know how. She needs to get in parenting classes the military has great ones but because they are not married they won't let her in those so I hope she can find one through cps, next she needs a system she needs someone to support. CPS was in our life for a long time as they should and the military a lot longer.

    From what I read sounds like a hoarding issue to me. And she needs help not a flogging. you can over come this and change your life, I have.

  26. The proper channels already exist for the proper authorities to enter a home where abuse is suspected. Military leadership should use the civilian channels that apply to situations such as the one mentioned in the story above. They have no right, nor should they to enter the service member's off base home. Personal privacy is the main reason that I lived off base during my 20 year career.

  27. As a military spouse, I feel that once the military provides healthy living conditions in on base housing, then by all means inspect away, after all the house is on military property. However, if the privatized housing unit has black mold, bird fecal matter staining the ceiling because birds live in the attack, infested with bed bugs and roaches, and appliances are temporarily fixed, you know for like a day or 2, then the military should inspect the company that is receiving money for us to live there. This past summer, my family lost everything due to all of the above stated. My husband and I were so weak we physically could not care for our two young children, who were affected by everything, especially bed bugs, we sent them to extended family. The privatized company did not pay for accommodations, told us we had to load our furniture into our car, destroy it at the dump, which was a block and 1/2 away from our house, in order to throw it out, and make it undesirable for pickers to take. This company, sent in an exterminator to spray approximately 4 times, everytime my husband and I went into the unit, we had more blood sucked out of us by the aggravated hungry bugs. We called and paid for 1800-got junk to come and throw out all of our belongings, so we can be 100% free of all the nasty, unhealthy living conditions we were provided. I have pictures to prove the black mold, bird nests in the attack, and of course bed bugs and roaches. No wonder we were always diagnosed with upper respiratory infections. Since we moved out, and charged another $800, we live in our home we own, I will refuse to allow anybody in to inspect my home, off base because of my experience and losing everything, including my children for 2 weeks. So, if an individual asks to inspect my home, I will kindly refuse, we do not live with birds in our attack, black mold around our toilets, bed bugs or roaches anymore! Amazingly we have not been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection since the move.

    On another note, if a soldier at work is displaying signs of distress from the home life, for safety and concern, an inspection might not be so bad, especially if there are children living there and not cared for.

  28. James Byrd USN RT | February 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

    The military is a dictator ship it has to be to protect a democery even Washington said the same thing. So if you don’t like taking orders don’t join But the military will give you great rewards if study and work hard and have good medical. So keep in mind the government own the house and they have the right to inspection it

    • I own the house, not the navy. They own the barracks, and there I agree to be inspected. But on my own property, you can take a hike if you think you're comiong in.

  29. I don't have a problem with home inspection and believe everyone should get checked on. I've lived next to wives that when their husbands deployed they fall apart and let the kids do whatever they want and not clean the house. There was this one house down the street from me that the husband was smoking drugs with teenagers and had two baby girls running around in days old diapers, while the wife was deployed. In the past ten years I've seen it all and especially with all these suicides they need to get checked on once in a while.

  30. As a Chaplain who has had to deal with battered wivies and abused children I fall on the side of responsiblity to care and not on rights to harm. The military is unique in that we are asking people to do things that the average civilian is not asked. We are not governed by the same laws. This does not mean that a home inspection could be abused or done without sensiblity. The inspection that I saw in units that I have served were to aid the family. They were designed to prevent the state from taking the children, to aid the mother or father in parenting skills. This is being responsible to the service member and the their dependants.

    If I understand the story right it was the state not the military that took the children. The command suspected a problem. They approached them not to try to be authortative but to help. Knowing something could happen, they chose to not clean up and care for their children but fight on technicalities of privacy.

    Note: it was the weakest and most vulneralbe persons that were hurt the most – the children; and it would have continued all in the name of indivuallism on steroids.

  31. Wow , constitutional rights being taken away more and more under an Obama admin and the military ,who he never defends, is marching in lockstep acting like this is normal and "In the best interest of all." Give me a break. If you live on post, ok , they have a right to check on their property, but that is it.Offpost they have NO jurisdiction.

  32. The politicians give themselves a raise and pats on the back for their incompetence but to increase the pay and benefits to the military is a thought that cannot be tolerated for long, food stamps and low pay endear the fighting man to these lounge lizards who suck up good tax money…..

  33. I'm a Resident Advisor at the barracks, and have to inspect rooms weekly – which we have a right to do, since we are providing the rooms. But I am not ok with allowing further intrusion into off-base, non-military housing. It's not our job to raise these majority-age children. Bad enough we already have to do that with the ones IN uniform; I don't care to start parenting spouses and SOs, too. When they get bad enough to bring themselves to the attention of the authorities, then they can be dealt with, as the one in the article has been.
    I also know that such inspections can easily be abused to punish servicemembers or as fishing expeditions to find something to punish them for.

  34. I work for family advocacy and I will be the first to tell you that home inspections require a search warrant despite what you might be told when they arrive at your door. This policy is slightly different on base however. In Germany to do a house inspection required the base housing commander, the unit commander of the soldier/airman, the military member, and the mp's/sf had to be there as well. What I saw the most was the mp's and sf's intimidating the young service members with statements like you have to let us in and not knowing any better they would let us in. I would not allow it if I was present and would inform them of their legal rights which annoyed the mp's/sf's to no end, especially the German ones who did not understand out legal rights since the Germans have no such rights. Personally? No one from command is coming in my home for an inspection. They may be invited for our BBQ's but those usually only include enlisted people and the occasional CW3. I can count on one hand the number of times we have had officers in the house at a party. Once in West Point because the Major was awesome, and twice in Germany because the two Lt's spouses were awesome.

  35. The bottom line is that the children were in a bad situation regardless of who is in the military. Let's pretend her boyfriend wasnt in the military? The same thing would happen and if the couple got their act together they would be inspected by Child Services….So, if there is a problem with neglect in a home, then I think there should be inspections. But, that is with anyone..Just because you are military doesn't mean you can't have problems at home. And it seems as though the people in the military are under so much stress that they may have even more family problems.? Plus, this couple called the law on themselves and then they must have gotten so loud (in front of kids) that the neighbor called the law. I think if anyone gives good reason to be inspected, should be inspected if children are involved.

  36. I agree, but for this particular story: They do live off post, so it was local law enforcement that responded (it does state so) to a Domestic Disturbance. Strike one.
    They came in and saw the children in an abusive and neglectful situation. Strike Two.
    Through out the visit, they saw something(s) that made them think the children where in danger. Strike Three.
    This allowed them to call Child Services, who apparently determined it was appropriate to remove the children, until the parents could be released from jail and could go through the investigatory process.
    This is not just some spiteful neighbor tipping of Child Services, because they weren't mowing their lawn on tuesdays.

  37. Its socialism…

  38. This is how I feel too.

  39. Sarah — You and I are on the same page with gut feelings — like I said at the top of the post home inspections dont strike really anyone as being something they WANT. And my statement that "I can guess why …." is just saying the obvious. In THIS case, if her home had been like this for awhile then it doesnt take a leap of logic to figure out what she didnt want them around to see. I absolutely dont mean to extend this logic to everyone else who wants the Army to stay away.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding! I'm sure your home is lovely. :-)

  40. @Tamarast8,

    By what means is this socialism? Most people who object to this have something they do not want others to see or know about. It is why most hoarders do chose not to interact with society.

    The better question here is would you view this as socialism if you were the child? Or does it matter then? Think before you post.

  41. I can come inspect your house, then?

    If someone sees something suspicious, we have processes in place to respond.

    Otherwise, there is a thing called privacy.

  42. Please send me your address so I can come check out your place to make sure you are safe.

  43. So by wanting to maintain my privacy I'm hiding something? How about you post your address so we all can see where you live? What are you hiding??

  44. Here's your nose back. I found it in my business.

  45. Iman Azol,

    Privacy is relative and subject to a plethora of rules and regulations. For example, here in Texas you can have a fire arm and if you are certified to do so can carry the firearm concealed. However you can not bring the same firearm on post (Ft. Sam Houston), while some would argue this infringes on ones right to bear arms it is subject to the rules and regulations of the instillation.

    As to someone seeing something suspicious this is not always grounds for inspection on or off base. Again if the individual has displayed a pattern then it may warranted. So again Privacy is subject to the terms of the inspection.

  46. Huh? First of all it is legal, under certain restrictions, to have a firearm on a military base including Fort Sam. The military isn't suspending your Right to own or possess, just restricting where it can be on "their" installation.

    The Right to Privacy is absolute except to those busy-bodies who have to stick their nose in other peoples business. As was stated previously, there is a system in place to address issues and if there is an issue report it. Otherwise stay out of my life since you can't even run yours . . . as the song said.

  47. Alain the archetype | February 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

    Amen brother.. .I have a feeling those who disagree with you are Pentagon trolls pushing this junk . or they are nanny state control freaks in training to work for the TSA.

  48. Sorry, but BAH isn't enough excuse for them to butt in. I've had to do Health & Comfort inspections, and JAG says we can do on-base or gov't housing. Rent or buy off-base, though, and all we can do is ask.

  49. Institutions do not and cannot "care". All they can do is put on an appearance in order to avoid criticism.

  50. Chris,

    I have to agree with darkwing on this one, organizations do put up an image. An individual can care, but again that may be subject to perception.

  51. Come by the ARNORTH quad on 4 MArch @ 1330.

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