WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Supporters of Fort Polk are trying to rally the troops, not at Fort Polk, but on Capitol Hill.
They're armed with information to give to Louisiana's lawmakers about the Army base's importance to the local and state economy. They say it has a nearly eight-billion dollar impact.
"It's something that we do every year to ensure that something does not slip away from us at Fort Polk because part of Louisiana would really be in a bind," said Scott Lyndsay, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, England Airpark.
Lyndsay is part of the delegation that also includes local economic boards and elected officials.
"Fort Polk is the largest employer in the whole state of Louisiana and it's based in a very rural community and we need those jobs," said
Rick Allen, Leesville Mayor.
Fort Polk Progress Chair Michael Reese said the base is already getting more money from the Trump administration, which he said is good news for the region, but also for military readiness.
"This is one of the first times we've been up here where we haven't been playing defense, so now we're really talking about what are those future opportunities?" asked Reese.
Reese said the federal government's recent investments means Fort Polk can focus on things like cybersecurity and now they hope to enhance the overall community and keep young people in the area.
The delegation made its way from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill, where they met with Senator Bill Cassidy.
In a statement, Cassidy's spokesperson said the office will do everything it can to help the soldiers, their families, and the surrounding community.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed a $716-billion dollar defense bill, which this group says will benefit Fort Polk.