By Mrs. Melissa Buckley (Leonard Wood)November 13, 2014
Sending approximately 5,000 troops home for the holidays is no easy task. Multiple Fort Leonard Wood organizations are already busy making sure this gargantuan undertaking is a success.
Holiday Block Leave is the installation's planned two-week training break during the holiday season.
"All the Soldiers in Training are given an opportunity to go home. The cadre and their civilian counterparts are also given the opportunity to take leave and enjoy the holiday season," said Thomas Flynn Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, Installation Holiday Block Leave actions officer.
Information, Tickets and Registration and World Class Travel is responsible for planning and executing the ticketing -- airline, shuttle and/or Greyhound -- for all Soldiers in Training on Fort Leonard Wood.
"We typically help more than 5,500 service members," said Jane Weixelbaum, ITR and World Class Travel manager. "We start ticketing in October."
Every unit receives a four-hour block of time in their training schedule for ticketing.
"We are ticketing 40 units this year, so we have to start early enough to accommodate everyone. We ticket non-stop from Nov. 3 through Dec. 9," Weixelbaum said.
On Nov. 5, 163 Soldiers in Training were lined up to make their holiday travel plans.
Pfc. Jacquetta Myers, Company A, 787th Military Police Battalion, 14th Military Police Brigade, said she was excited to get her plane ticket to Columbia, South Carolina.
"I want to see my Family. I can't wait to go home and spend time with them," Myers said. "I feel fortunate that the Army allows me the opportunity to go home for two weeks. I am counting down the days."
Pvt. Christopher Eureste, Company A, 787th Military Police Battalion, 14th Military Police Brigade, agreed.
"I'm going to Louisville, Kentucky, to visit with my son, my mom and my friends. I feel privileged to be in line right now," he said.
Even though thousands of service members are being steered through ITR and World Class Travel this time of year, the office remains open to other patrons.
"We are still open during normal business hours to the public. We have an ITR agent dedicated to handle all of the attraction ticket sales. If a patron needs travel assistance, we just work them in," Weixelbaum said.
During HBL ticketing, the ITR and World Class Travel office is unable to answer their phone. They ask all customers to leave a message.