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There’s not a big militarism here in Watertown… I think people here are like anywhere. They’re getting kind of tired of it all.

In 2011, Watertown a bigger, and different, city

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Ten years since the September 11th attacks, Fort Drum's home of Watertown is, in some ways, a very different place. It's certainly a bigger place with 19,500 troops now based at Fort Drum-- almost double pre-September 11th numbers--and many soldiers have brought their families.

Housing is more expensive and scarce, and yet, thanks in large part to Fort Drum, Watertown has been somewhat insulated from the recession.

It's also been the site of an endless cycle of deployments, homecomings and painful losses; 290 soldiers from the 10th mountain division have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

The Watertown Daily Times last week reported a sharp spike in post-traumatic stress disorder cases among Fort Drum soldiers in the last few years, as well as arrests of soldiers, some highly decorated, for violent crimes. Watertown mayor, Jeff Graham, says after years of war, there’s a sense of fatigue throughout the city:

"There’s not a big militarism here in Watertown…I think people here are like anywhere. They’re getting kind of tired of it all and probably would just as soon see some period of relative peace. But that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon."

Carl McLaughlin is the executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, which works with both the military and civilians on things like finding affordable housing and services. Nora Flaherty asked him what he thought had changed in his community since 9/11.

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