WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- They put everything on the line to serve our country, but many military families say their living conditions are hazardous, and they've been exposed to toxic mold and bug and rodent infestations.
Ninety-nine percent of military housing is run by private companies. Air Force spouse Megan Konzen traveled from Laughlin Air Force base in Texas to Washington D.C. to speak out about what she is calling dangerous living conditions.
“I’ve been sick for a couple of months with respiratory infections and respiratory illnesses due to mold,” says Konzen.
Konzen’s husband is in the Air Force. After moving in to Laughlin, she says mold in the air conditioning unit got her sick.
Konzen is not alone. Other military families are speaking out about what they call unsafe and dangerous conditions in privatized housing on bases, and they are taking their concerns as far as Capitol Hill.
“As a former commander and former fellow patriot, I’m infuriated by what I’m hearing today. This is disgusting,” says Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The committee is trying to get answers. Representatives from five private housing companies, including the one that owns Konzen’s home, testified in front of the senators.
"We're not perfect, and we aim to learn from our mistakes” said John Ehle of Hunt Military Communities.
In a statement to Gray Television, the company says, "Hunt is committed to continuing to make necessary improvements to offer every resident high-quality housing.”
Konzen says she doesn’t feel alone in her fight anymore.
“To know that we have joined together as a force, as an Army, is pretty powerful," she said.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who sits on the Armed Service Committee, says he wants legislation to protect tenants and penalize the private housing companies if they’re not maintaining a safe environment for residents.