Blackstone businesses, residents rely on everyday connections with Fort Barfoot

The Virginia National Guard troops down at the Texas border departed Fort Barfoot in early July

BLACKSTONE, Va.Virginia National Guard troops training at Fort Barfoot have a special relationship with the town of Blackstone just two miles away.

Fort Barfoot has more than 225 full-time state and federal employees who provide support to tenant and training units on approximately 41,000 acres.

At any moment in time, troops from all over the state can be training there. The places they eat, drink and shop is just down the road in Blackstone.

Clarence Hart who works at Fort Barfoot says the town wouldn’t be the same without the fort.

“I mean it definitely keeps this town afloat. You look at all the businesses up and down the street ... without the soldiers going in and out, very few of them would be successful. Especially the restaurants,” Hart said.

[10 News on the frontline with the Virginia National Guard at the U.S.-Mexico border]

James Harvey is a manager at The Brew House in Blackstone. There’s not a day that goes by without Harvey serving up something for someone serving our country.

“On a night-to-night basis, we’ll have 10-20 come sit, half a brigade,” Harvey said.

One group that recently trained at Fort Barfoot was Joint Task Force Cardinal.

The group is made up of 110 soldiers from all over the state including some from Danville and Lynchburg. Governor Glenn Youngkin recently deployed troops to Texas to help with the border crisis.

10 News Anchor John Carlin has spent his week down at the border embedding himself with the troops.

It’s pretty common for people in Blackstone to have to say goodbye to troops before deployment.

“It is definitely difficult,” Hart said. “You form all these bonds with people and they’re just in and out in a flash. It’s always awesome when men and women come through here to train. You get to see [them] interacting with the public and just be a part of the community.”

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.