FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Senior garrison leaders here hosted the September Community Information Forum virtually via the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page Sept. 1. The monthly forum is designed to be an information exchange and dialogue between the garrison and the community on a range of topics and interests to improve quality of life for service members, families, civilians and retirees, said Megan O’Donoghue, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The theme this month was community resources.
In line with this month’s theme, Col. Aaron Pitney, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, spoke on some of the services offered through GLWACH, including inpatient surgery, child birth, intensive care and behavioral health services, as well as an MRI unit that runs 24/7 operations.
“We can schedule people day and night to get an MRI if need be,” he said.
Pitney also highlighted the 12-bed mother-baby unit.
“If you haven’t been up to the mother-baby unit, it’s really one of the shining lights in our organization,” he said.
Pitney spoke on the Department of Defense mandatory COVID-19 vaccine program set to ramp up here after Labor Day weekend.
“We’re very much on the ascent, on the glide path to a full vaccination plan that’s going to kick off after the long weekend,” he said.
Lt. Col. Nic Birch, director of Emergency Services and Provost Marshal, spoke on traffic at the gates.
“Please be patient out there,” he said. “Leave a little early, especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays.”
Birch also reminded everyone that they have 72 hours to register weapons from the time they arrive on Fort Leonard Wood.
Alfredia Williams from the Transition Assistance Program highlighted the virtual career summit they held in August, that brought together 55 employers and more than 600 job seekers.
The next virtual career fair, Williams said, takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28. Call 573.596.0175 for more information.
Williams also noted that TAP is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to assist walk-ins.
“Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to assist you,” she said.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and Malia Nemetz, Suicide Prevention Program manager, said Fort Leonard Wood will offer information on building resilience at events this month, including at the opening ceremony for the Davidson Fitness Center’s “bar benders” weightlifting competition at 9 a.m. Sept. 11. Nemetz also said an awareness table will be set up at a hiking event at Ha Ha Tonka State Park Sept. 12, and story time at the Bruce C. Clarke Library Sept. 14 and 15 will feature a book on military child resilience.
Nemetz said to look for the hashtag #BeThere on social media, or call 573.596.0938 for more information.
Army Community Service
Shin-Ae Young, Financial Readiness Program manager, spoke on classes and training available on the Thrift Savings Plan and Blended Retirement System.
She also highlighted that October Domestic Violence Awareness Month events are in the planning stages.
ACS has many programs available to help service members, their families, DOD civilians and retirees. Call 573.596.4268 for more information.
Child and Youth Services
Tamara Smith, CYS coordinator, spoke on the military family life counselors available here to help families as military children develop through transitions.
“Those military family life counselors are there to help during those transitions,” she said. “They’re there to help prepare parents and children for those next steps, for those transitions.”
Smith also mentioned the school liaison officer, who is available as a subject-matter expert for families interested in home schooling.
“She can help you go over the state laws and policies,” Smith said. “She can also help you get ready as you transition to your next duty station, help you get set up with the school liaison officer there.”
Parent and Outreach Services is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are located in Bldg. 470, Room 1126, and can be reached at 573.596.0238.
FMWR news and events
Katy Carter with FMWR’s Business and Recreation Office spoke on some of the programs they offer that the Fort Leonard Wood community may be less aware of, including lifeguard and CPR courses.
Carter also mentioned that one-on-one personal trainers are available at $30 per hour and $15 for an initial assessment.
“Let’s not wait until the beginning of the year to set our (fitness) goals,” she said.
Instructors and facilities are also available for unit physical training events.
“We have plenty of options for you to reserve a personal trainer or a fitness instructor for unit PT,” she said. “It can be targeted at components of the (Army Combat Fitness Test), movements and mobility that will help to facilitate better range of motion.”
Units may also rent the pool at DFC for PT events, Carter said.
Carter also spoke about the Outdoor Adventure Center, which offers a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor equipment and licenses.
“It’s your one-stop shop for all of the permits and requirements for hunting and fishing, both on Fort Leonard Wood and the state of Missouri,” she said.
The OAC also maintains a Federal Firearms License to provide in-state gun shipping and receiving services, Carter added.
Leisure Travel Services will begin migrating service over to DFC within the next month to facilitate the start of Holiday Block Leave travel arrangements. However, Carter said the LTS office in the Mini Mall will stay open four days each week this year.
For military discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars and more, Carter highlighted https://www.americanforcestravel.com, which has partnered with the DOD to find the best prices for service members and their families.
“It is great deals and it is verified lowest price,” she said.
Veterinary Treatment Facility
The VTF is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 2399 Minnesota Ave. Call 573.596.0094 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Religious Support Office
Martha Strong from the Religious Support Office spoke on some of the weekly fall evening religious education classes beginning this week. They take place from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 3, with dinner at 5:30 p.m., and adult topics include parenting, marriage, scripture, Protestant catechism and more. Youth classes are also available.
Kids4Christ starts Sept. 13, and is open to children in first through fifth grades from 4:15 to 6 p.m. Mondays in-person at Bldg. 590 (includes dinner), and 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays virtually.
Protestant Women of the Chapel kicks off at 9 a.m. Sept. 14. Five classes will be offered, some in-person, some online.
Jewish Soldier and family resources are offered at the Main Post Chapel, including Rosh Hashanah from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, and 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday; and Yom Kippur from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 16, and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16.
Strong also highlighted a Patriot Day Memorial event that begins at 9 a.m. Sept. 9 at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence building.
A new addition to the religious worship schedule, Strong said, is an Adoration Mass the first Friday of each month.
Beth Pritchard, Fort Leonard Wood Exchange general manager, highlighted the services available here through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
“I’m very proud to say that across all of our enterprises, we facilitate approximately 12,000 transactions every single day,” she said. “And because of your patronage, we are able to return approximately $1 million back to the FMWR dividend annually.”
Pritchard also noted the Exchange will be repeating their “wildly successful” trunk-or-treat event, with time and date information to come.
A representative from the Fort Leonard Wood Commissary provided the following updates:
- Convenience hours are from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday – self-checkout registers only.
- In the next few weeks, Click2Go hours are scheduled to be extended until 6 p.m.
Carl Norman from the Armed Services Blood Program said Fort Leonard Wood’s new Blood Donor Center in Bldg. 759 is open Sunday through Tuesday for unit-level blood drives, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for appointments and walk-in donors.
Norman also mentioned some mobile blood drive events coming up this month:
- 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in Thurman Hall, Room 1522;
- 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in GLWACH’s Primary Care conference room; and
- 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at the 5th Engineer Battalion’s B11401 classroom.
Norman said potential blood donors must weigh at least 116 pounds and be at least 17 years old and feeling well for at least three days before the drive. They must also be well hydrated and have eaten something before donating. Donors completing their fourth donation with ASBP will receive a Certificate of Achievement, worth five promotion points. Civilian employees are authorized up to four hours admin leave for donating blood.
Spouses’ orientation event
Col. Richard Ball, MSCoE chief of staff, highlighted a spouses’ orientation day event for battalion-level command teams and above. The event is scheduled for Sept. 9, and those interested in attending are encouraged to call Nancy Gregory at 573.563.6154.
Next month’s Community Information Forum is scheduled for Oct. 6. To view more information on the slides from this or previous events, click here.
Fort Leonard Wood community members may submit topics of interest or issues they feel should be addressed through the Community Information Forum via the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, website.