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On a reconnaissance mission to Ft. Ord in Monterey Bay
On a reconnaissance mission to Ft. Ord in Monterey Bay

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. — Along Highway 1 between Marina and Seaside, it's all roller-coastering sand dunes and chaparral. There the road cuts across Ft. Ord, where soldiers trained for almost every war the U.S. Army waged in the 20th century, as well as deployments to Panama and the 1992 L.A. riots. Then Ft. Ord closed and it was over. In 1994, 36,000 soldiers and their families were relocated, emptying hospitals, barracks, chapels, stockades and 28,000 prime Central Coast acres. Alas, the Army left something behind: unexploded ordnance, contaminated groundwater and hazardous waste. Two decades later, the cleanup job is far from finished. A state park, national monument and...

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