FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (April 26, 2022) Future service members from high schools across South-Central Missouri will be honored for their commitment to serve their country at the Community Salute to Service event, scheduled for 6 p.m. May 11 at Waynesville High School’s Tiger Stadium.
In attendance will be Commanding General of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Adjutant General of the Missouri National Guard Maj. Gen. Levon Cumpton, and Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
Additionally, Fort Leonard Wood’s 399th Army Band will provide live music, and Waynesville High School’s Junior ROTC drill team will perform.
According to Waynesville R-VI School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Henry, students from area high schools will be individually recognized by the branch of the military they are joining.
“Citizens owe a debt of gratitude to those who raise their hand to serve in our military,” Henry said. “Less than 1 percent of Americans join the military, and it is an honor to host this event that recognizes students from throughout South-Central Missouri, who are making the decision to serve our nation. I invite everyone in our community to come out and show their support for these volunteers.”
Capt. Taumaloto To’o, Mid-Missouri Recruiting Company commander, said he looks forward to seeing these future service members honored in front of their families, teachers and coaches, along with some of the important decision makers from across the state.
“These young men and women are about to start an incredible, honorable new chapter in their lives,” he said. “An event like this is the perfect way to come together as a community to thank them for their decision to serve.”
To’o, who oversees 38,000 square miles of recruiting territory across much of central Missouri, said these high school students have demonstrated their willingness to assume a level of responsibility most young people do not experience.
“They are entering the profession of arms — a profession unlike any other,” To’o added. “These Missouri students will soon be spread out across the world, defending our way of life in the greatest military the world has ever seen. They’ll perform tasks they didn’t know they could do and help people they’ll never meet. They have quite an adventure ahead of them.”
Visit the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page or the Waynesville R-VI School District Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on the event.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 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: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission