Fort Leonard Wood community members attend Army Community Service’s 57th birthday celebration Friday in the ACS parking lot.
Fort Leonard Wood community members attend Army Community Service’s 57th birthday celebration Friday in the ACS parking lot. (Photo Credit: Photo by Amanda Sullivan, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Fort Leonard Wood community came together to celebrate the 57th birthday of Army Community Service during a celebration held July 22 in the ACS parking lot.

Shawn Steen, ACS director, called the organization, “the hub of family services on the installation.”

“This is a unique opportunity to celebrate military families,” he said. “We provide many opportunities for families to come in and get assistance, whether it’s financial readiness, employment readiness for spouses or prevention programs.”

Steen said experts from eight ACS organizations, including the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, the Family Advocacy Program, the Exceptional Family Member Program, the Financial Readiness Program, and Army Emergency Relief — along with individuals from ACS’s parent organization, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation — braved the heat to provide attendees with information, promotional items and program contact information. The 399th Army Band’s Rock Band, the Roughriders, was also on hand to provide entertainment.

Tina Mackie works at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and is a military spouse. She said she attended the event because she has firsthand experience with the services ACS provides.

“ACS was very helpful when I was searching for a job and helped with my resume, which ultimately got me a (General Schedule) job here on post,” she said. “Events like this remind the community that ACS is here to help.”

Mackie said her favorite part about the event was seeing the community brought together via food, live music and friends, because she feels active engagement through the community helps to build relationships — and relationships are how things get accomplished.

“(These events) are a great way to build a strong community,” she said. “That is what ACS is all about.”

Steen agreed.

“We want ACS to be a welcoming place that families can come enjoy,” Steen said. “Whether it’s bringing their kids to the play group, or coming in to receive budgeting assistance, we want to be here as a service to them.”

Steen said ACS was created in 1965, to improve the consistency of family-oriented programs like lending closets, emergency assistance, nurseries and overall care and comfort that would often be established by service members or their families at a duty station but would then disappear once the originators left.

For more information on ACS programs here, call 573.596.0212, or visit their website.