Sgt. Logan Thomas

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Feb. 12, 2020) – This spring, Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers — along with area residents and leaders from surrounding communities — are set to gather once again at the Waynesville High School gymnasium for the area’s second-annual Community Salute to Service.

This year’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 23, and will once again highlight high school seniors and their commitment to join the armed forces.

“We are honored to host this event for the region again this year,” said Dr. Brian Henry, Waynesville R-VI School District superintendent. “While we may be rivals on the fields, courts and tracks, when it comes to this event, all of our area schools unite as Americans to recognize our students who are volunteering to serve our nation.”

According to Capt. Matthew Poole, Mid-Missouri Recruiting Company commander, the 2019 event provided an excellent chance to honor every service member.

“It’s always special when you can honor those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines — past, present and those who are willing to serve in the future,” he said.

Last year, hundreds of area residents gathered to recognize 60 high school seniors from schools all over south-central Missouri. The event featured a performance from a local Junior ROTC drill team and live music by the 399th Army Band.

In addition, several distinguished guests were in attendance last year, including Missouri Governor Michael Parson and Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Both Parson and Martin have been invited to attend this year’s event.

In 2019, Parson and Martin recognized each student and presented them a letter from congressional leaders.

“You’re going to make sacrifices for people you’ll never see, you’ll never know and you’ll never meet,” said Parson — an Army veteran, himself — at the 2019 event.

Missouri Governor Michael Parson offers words of encouragement to students being honored for choosing to serve in the military following graduation at the first Community Salute to Service event, held at Waynesville High School in 2019. This year’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the same location. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Alfonso)


About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: