Fort Puke – 6 Reasons Why Fort Polk, LA is a Great Place to Live

This article was written in response to an article posted on the internet called “The US Military Towns You Definitely Don’t Want to Be Stationed in, Ranked“.  In this article, which happened to rank Fort Polk as the #1 worst place a military serviceman could be stationed, they called Fort Polk “Fort Puke“.  If you want to indulge in this piece of negativity then knock yourself out.  (here it is) They claimed that Ft. Polk was the worst army base in the country and that no one wants to be stationed here.  The fact of the matter is, some of us folks around Fort Polk who love this area have a few things to say…

Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) - aka Fort Puke

According to the article we referred to, Fort Polk has been given the unlucky call sign, “Fort Puke“. Admittedly, and like everywhere else, Leesville/Fort Polk Area has pros and cons. What this area does have to offer is unique in its own.  Here this..

Fort Polk has been around since 1941. We have the standard stuff everybody else has like holiday events, fairs, movie theaters, sit down restaurants, sports. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

1.) Our kids are smart, and we’ll make your kids smart, too

Don’t jut take my word for it.  Go look on  Compared to most other places, our schools have a disproportionately high number of awesome schools. Put your kids and our schools, and they are going to actually learn something.

Top rated schools in Vernon Parish School District (source:
    • Anacoco Elementary School. Anacoco, LA. Public. PK-6.
    • Anacoco High School. Anacoco, LA. Public. 7-12.
    • Rosepine Elementary School. Rosepine, LA. Public. PK-6.
  • South Polk Elementary School. Leesville, LA. Public. 2-5. BESbswy.
The track and football field at Rosepine High School

The track and football field at Rosepine High School (about 15-20 minutes from Fort Polk Army Base).

Education is very important, but it can be hard to find the right school when stationed in less than desirable places. Fort Polk isn’t a one of those places. The Fort Polk Army Base has two elementary schools located on Base school bus transportation provided, along with elementary, junior high, high school, community colleges and universities in the surrounding Leesville area. The Fort Polk Army Base also provides multiple housing options. Housing includes apartment style living, homes to buy or rent and hotels, all located on Base and in the Leesville area.  If you don’t want to live on base, and many don’t, you’ve got good schools all over the place to send your kids!

2.) We have high paying jobs for your spouse and when you retire from service

Just 55 miles south of us is Lake Charles, Louisiana.  According to the publication, USA Today, Lake Charles is the #3 fastest growing city in the country! What’s so fort puke about that?  I want a good, high-paying job, don’t you?  I want to live in an area with a prospering economy, don’t you? Moving from city to city, state to state and station to station, it can be difficult to find a local job that is aligned with one’s career path, but the advantage of living in the Fort Polk where the military is honored and respected, job opportunities are available to those who want them. We have pharmacies, dental offices, doctor’s offices, hospitals, oil refineries, chemical complexes, paper mills – all in 1 hour or less driving distance from Fort Polk.

SASOL Olefins and Surfactants - Lake Charles, Louisiana

SASOL Olefins and Surfactants refinery – Lake Charles, Louisiana

3.) Our ‘Fort Puke’ housing market has no puke in it

Remember the housing bubble burst  back around 2008?  We didn’t get ourselves signed up for that, luckily.  Fort polk was one of the few areas like Houston, TX and Dallas, TX that were largely unscathed by the housing bubble burst.  In fact I have so many reasons to show you how Fort Polk housing rocks, that a whole post has been allocated to it here.

4.) There’s lots of stuff for kids

For children, teenagers and young adults, youth leagues, public swimming pool, arts and crafts center, intramural sports, and so much more is continuously hosted year round. Fort Polk Base also offers the Children’s Environmental Awareness and Health Initiative. The Forestry Festival held in Leesville is a week long festival including a rodeo, fair rides, indoor shopping, food booths, and a parade. These activities are also available to those young at heart. The local movie theater and Showboat Theatre are open to anyone interested. There is also a Home of Heroes Recreation Center, Fort Polk Museum, Army Libraries, Fort Polk Hunting and so much more for those who live in the adventurous spectrum.

Our youth sports programs are strong.  Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, softball, or cross country, our youth sports programs are well organized and heavily participated.  The pursuit of sport greatness exists in the ‘Fort Puke’ communities.  Youth are challenged to excel in sports and good sportsmanship alongside their peers.

5.) We’ve got Toledo Bend – the best fishing lake in the whole country

For multiple years running, Toledo Bend is rated the #1 bass fishing lake in the entire United States.  To put that into perspective, the EPA states that the United States has 123,439.  So yeah, out of all those lakes, we’ve got the baddest ass one of all. Aside from fishing, I would also argue that Toledo Bend has the best lodging accommodations.  The lake has state parks and resorts all around it’s perimeter.  Experiencing the sunrises from the Texas side of the lake and the sunsets from the Louisiana side of the lake are breathtaking. If you like water sports then Toledo Bend has you fixed up there as well.  There are many calm water coves for water skiing, tubing, or just strolling around in the party barge.

Toledo Bend best fishing lake in the country

Toledo Bend best fishing lake in the country

And what’s more?  ‘Fort Puke’ has a fabulous place on Toledo Bend that it maintains called the “Toledo Bend Army Recreation Site“.   The resort has cabins and yurts you can rent, a sandy beach, outdoor cooking facilities, a fishing dock and cleaning station, and outdoor restroom and shower facilities.

Toledo Bend Army Recreation Site

Toledo Bend Army Recreation Site

6.) Our food is better here than anywhere else in the world

Why?  Because it’s Louisiana.  We cook with real butter and lots of seasonings.  Boiled crawfish, chicken gumbo, jambalaya, blue crab, blackened redfish are things we cook well in our kitchens.  There’s plenty of eating places to get all off the aforementioned if you don’t feel like cooking it.

Blue crab - a Louisiana dish

Blue crab seriousness in DeRidder tonight.

That’s not all. If you want to change it up we have all the other stuff too. Local fast food restaurants including McDonald’s, Arby’s, Burger King, and more are located on Base and in the Leesville area. Sit down dinner is also an option, including a new Chili’s, steakhouses, Japanese hibachi, Chinese buffets and authentic Mexican restaurants. For those with a sweet tooth, Chill Factor and Marble Slab are ready to serve.  All this available to you in the Fort Polk area who some call ‘Fort Puke’.

If you are moving to the area or need help buying or selling a home, please give one of our real estate agents a calls!  Visit DeRidder LA Real Estate website to see all the homes for sale in DeRidder, Leesville, and Fort Polk.

DeRidder Real Estate Business Card

To buy or sell a home call DeRidder LA Real Estate, LLC



co-authors: Mikalyn Russell, Andre Dunbar


Fort Puke – 6 Reasons Why Fort Polk, LA is a Great Place to Live — 10 Comments

  1. I would just say going off one website to say there are top notch schools here probably not the most accurate info. Talking with parents who have a kid in the game is my opinion a better info builder when looking to purchase a home far out because of it. These sites basically only go by test scores. We have moved & bought far out just for school based off these sites and found it a mistake. They may be good schools, may not but I would recommend going off better research or speak with parents who actually have sent or have their children in the game who can speak from experience. I have not heard many great things unless private or a drive to Anna which is not an option for a lot of people especially with the nature of the jobs here. The rest I can’t really say yeah or nah but I just hope people research before trusting an articles or websites on education.

  2. Well as a parent with kids in both Rosepine Elementary and High Schools currently and with them in German schools and DoD Overseas Schools prior, the school system here is pretty good. The Best? No obviously not as the local market here doesn’t produce enough revenue to compete and support the schools in comparison to some of the more industrial and populous locations. But… for what it is the schools here are some of the best in this part of the country.

        • No, my sons current duty station is Ft Bliss. He says that he’s heard just as many bad things about Ft Polk. I’m really trying to find out for him and see if I could talk him into at least a request (not that he’d get approved) to switch to Ft Polk. Number 1: It’s only an hour and 20 minutes from where we live on the Texas side of Toledo Bend… and number 2: that border city of El Paso is terrible. I lived in Dallas area most of my life and driven many times in Houston, but El Paso drivers are hella bad! I should check the traffic accident statistics over there!! And the border.??? Just…noooo. I have seen on the news sites that will actually report on what’s going on there, and I’ve heard some really bad things about it from my son…: number 3: Ft Bliss Command doesn’t seem to much of a damn about the soldiers. I’m sure that’s across the board in some instances, but talking with others in the Army who have been stationed at many places, what my son has told me seems to ring true through all their stories. And the stories are long. Thanks for the reply. If you’re at Ft Polk, perhaps you might be willing to let me know how you feel about the base and I will add it to my research to try to convince my son to request a transfer? It would be appreciated!!

          • Thank you for the reply. I’m the person who wrote the article, so I’ve already given 6 of them above. I think that the #1 reason I can give your son to do a stint at Fort Polk would be so that he can see his mom easier!

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