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Posted: 5/12/2005 8:05:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/12/2005 8:07:57 PM EST by Green_Ammo_223]
I'm still trying to get over the shock of why we got this duty assignment since EVERYTHING we put in for was South West (Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mex). Ok, I'm done bitching.

If anyone could please help a fellow Arfcomer out with any details about the area it would be much appreciated. We have a 6 year old daughter that will be in 1st grade next year and I'm really concerned about schools.

Our guns are my next concern, we have a few black rifles and an assortment of everything in between (handguns, hunting rifles, shotguns). I've looked online at the base info and it's pretty standard..."This is the best place on Earth! No crime, great weather, lots of schools and shopping for the ladies!" I don't care about shopping. I do care about not getting raped and robbed and my house set on fire because "the best place on Earth" won't allow us to protect ourselves. I'm not saying this is true about South Carolina, just trying to make the point that EVERY Base welcome page blows sunshine.

So I came here hoping for the straight poop. Is it the best place on Earth or should I shudder in fear?

Sumpter is the closest town I believe and I'm not thrilled with what I found on the FBI crime stats page, but they don't live there and I'll take your word over some stats any day.
Thanks for any info.
Link Posted: 5/12/2005 11:55:16 PM EST
I spent four years at Shaw (85-89). It's was a nice base when I was there. Having Ninth Air Force on base ensured that we had top notch facilities. I was single at the time so I can't speak for the schools. There is a lot of rural area within driving distance to the base if you are interested in living out in the country. Columbia is 45 minutes away if you want to go to and see the Kentucky Wildcats whip the USC Gamecocks. You may want to check out Camden, SC. In my opinion it is the niceest town in the immediate area. It's about 30 minutes north of the base. The main drag is lined with beautiful old homes and they have a couple of equestrian events there throughout the year. You'll be two hours from Myrtle Beach, two hours from Charleston, SC, and about two hours from Charlotte, NC. If you are into hunting and fishing there are lots of opportunities in that area of the state as well. I hunt about 45 minutes east of there in Claredon county where my father-in-law grew up. Gun season runs from Labor Day to New Years.

I think there are a few arfcommers from the Shaw AFB area that can give you better info than me. Good luck and feel free to im or email me if I can help you in any way at all.

JDGIII
Link Posted: 5/13/2005 12:13:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By Green_Ammo_223:
I'm still trying to get over the shock of why we got this duty assignment since EVERYTHING we put in for was South West (Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mex). Ok, I'm done bitching.

If anyone could please help a fellow Arfcomer out with any details about the area it would be much appreciated. We have a 6 year old daughter that will be in 1st grade next year and I'm really concerned about schools.

Our guns are my next concern, we have a few black rifles and an assortment of everything in between (handguns, hunting rifles, shotguns). I've looked online at the base info and it's pretty standard..."This is the best place on Earth! No crime, great weather, lots of schools and shopping for the ladies!" I don't care about shopping. I do care about not getting raped and robbed and my house set on fire because "the best place on Earth" won't allow us to protect ourselves. I'm not saying this is true about South Carolina, just trying to make the point that EVERY Base welcome page blows sunshine.

So I came here hoping for the straight poop. Is it the best place on Earth or should I shudder in fear?

Sumpter is the closest town I believe and I'm not thrilled with what I found on the FBI crime stats page, but they don't live there and I'll take your word over some stats any day.
Thanks for any info.



I left Shaw in Nov '02. Let me know through email what info you're looking for. What squadron are you assigned to?

Sumter isn't too bad. Just like any other little city, some of the people are trying to live like they're in a big city. Most everyone is alright, but don't believe the hype, they aren't fond of military. Don't advertise, and you'll be ok. Try to get housing in the north/west end of town. The southeastern areas are where the crime is.

Anything else you want to know, like I said, just email me!
Link Posted: 5/13/2005 3:14:20 AM EST
Summers: Hot & humid.

If you like to play tourist, you're not too far from places like Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

Public education in SC has been a problem. There are some good schools, but from what I've seen they are the exception. Private schools (mostly church run) and home schooling are big in SC. I had my older daughter in public school one year. Other than that, both of my kids have had a combination of home schooling and private schools.

Politics are interesting. We have a good ol' boy system entrenched in the state and a governor who is reform/efficiency minded. For representation in DC we have Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint in the Senate. My Rep in the house in Henry Brown. Thay are all good, conservative, pro 2A types. I don't know who represents the Sumter area.

I retired from the AF in the Charleston area. Life here is pretty good, but the population is growing. Sometimes Montana starts looking mighty fine.
Link Posted: 5/14/2005 8:15:30 AM EST
i work in sumter and have lived all my life in SC south carolina is a great state in my opinion. sumter is not a great city. this is prob. going to sound like im tring to scare you but in im not.

I chose not to live sumter for two reason. i commute becasuse my wife goes to school in columbia and we did not want to live in sumter. ...........honestly its on of my least fav. towns in sc, its pretty dirty, high crime, and not a stellar place

that being said, dont panic. many people live in other areas and commute to Shaw AFB to work. if your looking for areas out in the country, stay away from dalzell, rembert (unless you like crack). There is a private school that a lot of families send there kids to that dont want them to do the public school route which is bad in the area. Thomas Sumter Academy.

i know this is a pretty dismal picture, but were i in your shoes i would want the straight truth instead of ear candy. i live close to columbia and commute everyday. columbia is actually pretty cool. nothing like charleston but i will do for while. i hope this helps

as far as shooting goes, since your military, you can prob. find a place to shoot. i think the bombing range has a special range for military personel or something as well as an outdoor range open on sat, and sun that you have to pay 5.00 to shoot at. its pretty nice, but then you have to deal with the local area "stuipd shooters'

hope this helps, contact me if you have any questions and i willl try and help.
PS, the FBI stats are right on the money, i am good friends with a Sumter PD sargent. can be a pretty rough area
Link Posted: 5/14/2005 9:19:14 PM EST
Oh holy crap this doesn't sound good. I really hope you guys were serious about IMing you for more info, I'll do it too....beware! .

I looked at some of the schools online, I think we may go the home schooling route. It will be 1st-3rd grade for our little girl, and make play dates with the other families on base so she can have some interaction with other children.
The fishing sounds great. I can fish 24/7, whatever the weather and be a happy women. I can't wait to use a Carolina rig in the Carolina's Our daughter is quite the little fisher girl also, she caught an 8 pound cat on a snoopy pole when she was 4.
I really don't want to live in the city, any city. I looked at some houses in the country and was amazed at how cheap they are. Saw a lot of foreclosures though, not a good sign.
I look forward to attending some of the shoots and meeting you all. Thanks again for the straight poop.
Link Posted: 5/15/2005 4:21:31 PM EST
I live in Columbia and work in Sumter often. You do not want to live in Sumter. I would strongly suggest looking into the Lugoff area. It is a nice place to live, friendly, clean, growing and conects with hwy 601, which takes you just about all the way to Shaw. It is about a 30 min drive to Shaw from there. More than anything in Lugoff it seems to have a lower minority population than most other near by towns, including Columbia. <-----(just the strait poop right? there you go.)
Link Posted: 5/15/2005 5:50:12 PM EST
Green_Ammo_223

hey man, when you are coming down for a vist, if you want let me know one weekend and ill show you where the range is, maybe shoot a bit and then look around town

jst let me know how i can help. i ll do my best

Link Posted: 5/16/2005 7:08:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Green_Ammo_223:

I looked at some of the schools online, I think we may go the home schooling route. It will be 1st-3rd grade for our little girl, and make play dates with the other families on base so she can have some interaction with other children.



SC has a good home schooling network/support group. Start with this site and there are lots of people who will help you get started and avoid mistakes.

www.scaihs.org/
Link Posted: 5/17/2005 2:32:28 AM EST
I believe that Jim Clyburn is the Rep in that area. A black man that has the politics you'd expect. Not really an Al Sharpton like, but definately no Strom Thurmond. Sumter is just a rural small city. I've only driven thru and didn't like it one bit. I did like Shaw and the surrounding areas that the AF personell live. These guys have given you very good info on where to live. It'll be fine.
Link Posted: 5/17/2005 9:31:56 PM EST
Thanks for the link Brohawk. I found a lot of great info and got in touch with some people that can help me get started.

OK. I looked online at houses in Lugoff and Camden (kershaw county??). I found a few really nice places on a bit of land, but everything I looked at is very inexpensive. I hope that's not a sign of a declining area. We don't mind a commute to the base, we do that now to live in the country. I WILL NOT live in "Da Hood." My brother and I, two little blonde haired blue eyed kids, grew up in South Phoenix, Az and I will NOT put my daughter through that.
One thing that does worry me is my husband Colt45guy is up for rotation to the sand box, right about the time we get to Shaw. It will be myself, my Mother (who is in ill health) and our daughter alone for the period of time he is gone. Sheez this otta be fun.
Thanks for all the help fellas. I don't feel like I'm going in blind now and I have a good idea what areas to steer clear of. We will most likely drive out a few weeks in advance (late June) and have a look around. Thanks again for the help and I still may take you up on the IMs.

Bobbie
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 1:51:46 AM EST
Lugoff area is pretty rural. The prices will be lower due to that fact. There is a lower tax rate in that area as well. Services are what you would expect for these reasons. It's a nice area with lotas of dirt roads. Lots of double wides. Lots of good ol boys. You won't have any troubles up there. From Lugoff you are about 20 minutes from the eastern part of Columbia for shopping, movies etc... Straight down I-20. Camden has most of what you will need also just a few minutes away.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 7:40:44 PM EST
Welcome to SC Green_Ammo_223 and Colt45guy! God bless you for your service. I live in Greenville so I can't help you with where to live but wanted to welcome you anyway. You and your husband aren't IDPA shooters are you? Mid-Carolina Rifle Club has a great match every 4th Saturday.

-William
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:11:02 AM EST
thank you for the welcome YJ! Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get into an competitive shooting (yet)....but we do manage to go thru about 2K rounds monthly in the backyard!

We've started looking for houses out in the rural areas. Looks like we'll be out in SC sometime in mid July now. (my request to be released 60 days early was approved on local levels....now just have to see if my commander will sign it)

The more research we do, and the more we talk to you kind folks, the better this assignment sounds. It's not the southwest, but it's the people that make all the difference--and the fishing has GOT to be better! When we get there, there's an open invite to the entire Carolinas crew---BBQ at our place!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:20:52 AM EST
Did someone say BBQ?
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 3:49:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By u352:
Did someone say BBQ?



I've never yet found barbecue I didn't like, but I think it will takes many more years of research to reach a definitive conclusion.

In the name of science, of course!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 11:55:33 AM EST
BBQ? Did he say BBQ?
I won't miss that!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 1:52:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Colt45guy:
When we get there, there's an open invite to the entire Carolinas crew---BBQ at our place!



Let me check my calendar [0.5 sec ticks off the clock] Yep I'm free!

-yj
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:02:02 AM EST
Born and raised in the midlands of SC. Went to public school, and on to Georgia Tech. Camden is a very nice town. I have many firends in the SCANG that work full-time or drill at McEntire and Shaw. If you live in Columbia, the drive really isn't too bad, if you are used to it. Like many and most states the public education system is underfunded for the most part and differs in quality from place to place. The poorer areas obviously do not have the tax base, nor student body make up that the more affluent areas do, and therefore the schools there tend to suffer. However, there are some areas with truly outstanding schools, and as pointed out above, there are private options. I'm a Deputy with Richland county and crime is like the school system, with more in the less affluent areas where drug use is more prevalent and less in the "richer" areas. However, this is all subjective. We aren't talking about DC, LA, or NY. This is SC, and therefore most of the crime is going to be crack, coke, and pot dealing, in the less desireable areas. Meth labs in the doondocks. DUI, CDV, and some petty car thefts, break-ins and the like. There are obviously some more violent crimes from time to time but nothing to make you run screaming to the hills. Just don't live in the gehtto! Move to an area where people take some pride in their homes, etc and you'll be very happy.


-Hershey

P.S. The NE side of columbia, i.e. the Clemson Rd area is really growing with nice neigborhoods, shopping centers, etc and has some pretty good schools. It's also right down I-77 from Ft Jackson, Cola. and a number of private schools.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:54:41 PM EST
that's great info BD! Thank you! We learned our lesson about where to move based on community/property pride shortly after we bought our house here.....we aren't making that mistake again
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