Fort Leonard Wood leaders focus on community outreach at August Community Information Forum

Brian Hill
Fort Leonard Wood

Senior garrison leaders at Fort Leonard Wood hosted the August Community Information Forum virtually via the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page Aug. 4. 

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 outreach, and Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, thanked everyone for attending virtually.

“I appreciate the flexibility as we continue to adapt to the pandemic and what we need to do to keep everybody safe,” he said.

COVID-19 update

The first presenter, Col. Aaron Pitney, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, spoke on current COVID-19 and public health trends and concerns.

Pitney said the highly contagious Delta variant is driving an increase of COVID-19 cases.

“The Delta variant is the predominant variant, not only in the Midwest, but across the entire United States,” he said. “It is more infectious than the variant that we dealt with this time last year.”

Pitney stressed that although vaccinated people can still get infected with COVID-19, “the vast majority” of those who are dying or requiring hospitalization due to their symptoms are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

A mass-vaccination event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Nutter Field House. Appointments may be scheduled at https://informatics-stage.health.mil/GLWACHCOVIDApp/. 

The event is for service members, Tricare beneficiaries and Department of Defense employees and contractors. Anyone receiving a follow-up Pfizer vaccine should bring their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and 21 days must have passed since the initial vaccine. 

Attendees are encouraged to wear a short sleeve or loose-fitting shirt. Visit GLWACH’s Facebook page for updates, at https://www.facebook.com/GLWACH?form=MY01SV&OCID=MY01SV.

Traffic issues

Don Rose, deputy director of the Directorate of Emergency Services spoke on motorcycle safety.

He said one of the things access control point and patrol personnel have been tasked to pay specific attention to is the wear of proper personal protective equipment, or PPE.

“One of the common deficiencies we have seen is improper helmet wear,” Rose said. 

“Another common deficiency is sleeves. Fort Leonard Wood regulation says you must wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket.”

Rose also mentioned some of the on-going and upcoming road maintenance projects. The pavement resurfacing at the north gate is nearing completion, but lines still need to be painted.

“We appreciate your patience and awareness as you approach the access control point,” he said.

Pavement resurfacing at the west gate and maintenance on the Polla Road Bridge is scheduled for Aug. 16 to 27. During that time, the west gate will be closed from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, Rose said.

Safety program

Ashley Shetland, who heads up the Army Traffic Safety Program, detailed some of the traffic safety courses offered through the Garrison Safety Office, including experienced, intermediate, basic and remedial motorcycle safety courses.

“These are mandatory if individuals want to ride a motorcycle,” she said.

Shetland also asked service members to remember that Army regulations supersede state laws regarding helmets.

“In Missouri, there’s a no helmet law,” she said. “That is irrelevant to anybody who is in the military.”

Child and Youth Services

Tamara Smith, CYS coordinator, mentioned there are Family Child Care Provider opportunities on post.

“These are providers who work from their home on the installation,” she said. “They receive support and training through CYS, but they have their own business.”

Smith said FCCs dictate their hours and the number of children in their care within prescribed ratios, CYS pays for credentialing and bonuses may be available in certain circumstances. Call Sara Hendrix, FCC director, at 573.596.1029 for details.

Smith also said CYS is starting their part-day preschool for 3 to 5 year olds and Strong Beginnings for 4 to 5 year olds starting Kindergarten in the 2022-23 school year. Call Parent and Outreach Services at 573.596.0238 or 0421 for details.

FMWR news and events

Katy Carter with FMWR’s Business and Recreation Office spoke on some upcoming FMWR events.

A bass tournament starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lake of the Ozarks Recreation Area, and the annual Fort Leonard Wood cardboard boat race starts at 10 a.m. Aug. 28 at the lake at Training Area 250.

Carter also mentioned a program called Fit Fuel, which recently launched at Davidson Fitness Center and Specker Gym. FMWR worked with experts at GLWACH to develop the food packs that are designed for various fitness-related dietary needs. They are nutritious, low carb, low sodium, low fat and high protein.

“Please give us your feedback,” Carter said. “This is a new program, so we want to hear what you’d like to see from Fit Fuel.”

Home-based businesses

O’Donoghue spoke on the home-based business approval process.

“It’s not a difficult process,” O’Donoghue said. “There’s an application online at the Fort Leonard Wood FMWR website.”

Examples of HBBs include auto repair service, hair stylists, home baking and meal preparation and pet grooming. On-post HBBs can be registered by completing the application and lease addendum. Applications may be brought in-person to Bldg. 470, Room 1104, or emailed to megan.j.odonoghue.naf@mail.mil.

Garrison leaders must approve all on-post HBBs, O’Donoghue said.

Visit the FMWR website for more information, at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/happenings/home-based-business-hbb.

Religious events

Martha Strong from the Religious Support Office spoke on some upcoming events.

A family movie night starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Main Post Chapel. Backyard Bible Club is 10 a.m. to noon Monday and Aug. 16 at Bldg. 590. A youth group pizza and movie night starts at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Main Post Chapel, and a parent and volunteer orientation is from 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Main Post Chapel.

For more information on these and other events, call 573.596.0089, or email martha.a.strong.civ@mail.mil.

Strong also mentioned some updates to the worship schedule, which now includes Jewish, Buddhist and Islamic services. Visit the Religious Support Office Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/fortleonardwoodRSO?form=MY01SV&OCID=MY01SV, for details.

September’s forum

Next month’s Community Information Forum is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 1. To view more information on the slides from this or previous events, at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/happenings/woodworks-community-information-forum.

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, at https://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=card&sp=145057&s=447.