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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Senior garrison leaders here hosted the October Community Information Forum virtually via the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page Wednesday. 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.

With the theme this month being community awareness, much of the information centered on programs here that build resiliency and follow the Army’s People First focus, said Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, in his opening remarks.

“These are a lot of the programs that directly contribute to that,” he said. “We can make sure our leaders, our families throughout the community understand what resources are available out there and who to reach out to when you have a problem.”

Army Community Service

In line with the theme this month, Shawn Steen, Family Advocacy Program manager, spoke on the variety of programs and classes available through ACS, including stress management and relationship enhancement classes.

“If you look at the classes that we have to offer, we identified several high-risk areas and we try to target those to help folks understand and get through some of the tough times,” he said.

Updated information about classes being offered through ACS is available on their Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/FLWMOACS.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Steen pointed out that one in three women and one in four men will experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.

Steen said ACS is hosting a domestic violence awareness event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 15 in the ACS parking lot. Additionally, a bullying prevention event is scheduled to take place during the “Boo-tastic Halloween Drive Through” from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Bldg. 470 parking lot.

Army Substance Abuse Program

Polly Guthrie, ASAP manager, spoke on some aspects of the substance abuse program in place at Fort Leonard Wood.

Guthrie called it a commander’s program, meant to help identify those with a unit who may not be mission ready.

“We want to be able to assist commanders in being able to identify the high-risk Soldiers,” she said.

Guthrie encouraged commanders to use the Unit Risk Inventory, a 77-question, “fill-in-the-bubble” test that helps to better identify the climate of a formation.

The installation’s suicide prevention program also falls under ASAP, and Guthrie explained some of the trainings regularly provided here, which includes the Ask, Care, Escort Suicide Intervention, or ACE-SI training, as well as ACE.

Guthrie also highlighted Red Ribbon Awareness Week, which occurs the last week of October to bring attention to the dangers of drug addiction. This year’s theme is, “Drug free looks like me.”

Emergency Services

Provost Marshal Sgt. Maj. David Baucan spoke on the upcoming Halloween trick-or-treat hours in on-post housing — 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

“We’re going to ensure, through additional patrolling and personnel that we have, that this is a safe, fun event for these children,” he said.

Baucan also reminded personnel about the regulations regarding open fires and burn barrels, and asked units designing haunted houses to remember that smoke machines are not authorized, and there must be unobstructed paths to exits.

Safety Office

Don Busbice, director of the Garrison Safety Office, reminded personnel of some things to consider with the colder months on the way here, including ice, snow and animals on the roads.

When it comes to road conditions, Busbice’s advice was to have a plan and stick with it.

“Have a risk assessment and stay within the confines of that risk assessment,” he said.

For the latest information on road conditions here, check the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page.

When it comes to animals — such as deer — on the roads, Busbice said the safest thing to do is slow down and “stay in your lane.”

“Don’t take left or right evasive actions,” he said. “You’ll hit another car or a tree or a telephone pole. Slow down, brake safely and go ahead and impact it.”

Busbice also asked people to remember that burning leaves on post is not allowed without a permit from the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department.

Cybersecurity

With October also known as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Greg Adank, Network Enterprise Center director, discussed some of the common practices and procedures required to safeguard data.

Adank said he recommends people use stronger passwords, and different passwords for each of the various types of accounts people have — online shopping, bank and email, for example.

More and more online vendors are now using what’s called two-factor identification, Adank said.

“This is an excellent way to highly reduce the potential for someone to get your credentials and log in on your behalf for nefarious reasons,” he said.

Adank also recommended people allow automatic updates on their devices and be aware that phishing scams — fraudulent messages designed to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information — have continued to become more and more sophisticated. An IRS scam telling people they owe taxes has been successful in recent years.

“About $4.3 billion was stolen from people who fell for that ploy in 2020,” Adank said.

FMWR news and events

Jeffrey Barrett spoke on behalf of FMWR’s Business and Recreation Office. He mentioned some upcoming events, including the Army 10-miler.

“This is the second consecutive year it is virtual,” he said.

However, FMWR has organized a route for registered participants. A course brief will be held at 7 a.m. Sunday, and the run begins at 7:15 a.m. at the entrance of the troop trail at the corner of South Dakota and Iowa avenues. Register for the Army 10-miler at armytenmiler.com.

Barrett also highlighted the upcoming Oktoberfest 5K run and Volksmarch, which takes place at 11 a.m. Oct. 16 at Colyer Park. Call 573.596.6913 for more information.

More information about upcoming FMWR events is located at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com.

AAFES

Beth Pritchard, Fort Leonard Wood Exchange general manager, said she had an exciting announcement — Panda Express will be opening at the Main Exchange food court by April next year.

Pritchard also noted that the Burger King menu boards will be switched out in the next couple of weeks.

A Breast Cancer Awareness Month event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Exchange Mall, Pritchard said.

Commissary

Edgar Edelman, assistant Commissary store director, said the Fort Leonard Wood Commissary is running low on Halloween candy, but holiday turkeys have arrived.

Edelman also mentioned that convenience hours are from 7 to 9 a.m. daily, but that only self-checkout is available.

Veterinary Treatment Facility

Capt. Ashley Butler, officer in charge of the VTF, reminded personnel that both service members and retirees are able to use their services — customers need not live on post.

Butler highlighted their “Howl-o-ween” pet costume contest taking place now through the end of the month. Bring costumed pets to the VTF for a chance to win a goodie basket.

Butler also listed some of the services the VTF provides, which includes wellness exams; sick pet appointments; surgeries — including spay and neuter services — and dental cleanings and oral surgeries; and permanent change of station preparation, including international health certificates for overseas moves.

Call 573.596.0094 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

November’s forum

Next month’s Community Information Forum is scheduled for Nov. 3. 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.