FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 6, 2011) -- Secretary of the Army John McHugh met with post officials and military families Thursday in an effort to reach out to the local community and see what the Army can do to assist in the recovery from the New Year's Eve tornado, which injured four and left several military homes uninhabitable.

"I just want to make sure that the Army and Army resources are being made available here, and for the moment, I feel good about that [being accomplished]," McHugh said. As secretary of the Army, he is responsible for manpower, personnel, installations, equipment and financial management, and all matters relating to the U.S. Army.

During his visit, McHugh met with Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood command staff and inquired about what is being done to assist with recovery efforts and how it has affected training operations on post.

"Priority number one, apart from base rehabilitation and reconstruction, is to continue regular cycles of training," said McHugh. "Fort Leonard Wood has a very important mission to train our young Soldiers and we want to make sure that continues on schedule."

Training has definitely not been overlooked.

2nd Lt. Phillip Scott, an officer assigned to the 701st Military Police Battalion, is stationed here while he completes the Basic Officer Leaders Course. His home was destroyed during the storm. While his family transitions into their new home he will be continuing his Army education.

"I think it's important for me to continue training so that our family can regain a sense of what is normal, and we can continue on with our plans for the future," said Scott.

The Secretary added that training is just one aspect of ensuring that the community is on the right path to recovery, and ultimately rebuilding.

"We talk a lot about the Army family. You see it in our posters. You see it in our literature. We believe in it very strongly, but it's got to be more than a bumper sticker," said McHugh.

"If there's anything this experience has shown, it's that in times like this, the Army family knows how to put our arms around each other and build for the future," he said.

Page last updated Thu January 6th, 2011 at 00:00