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Post officials prepare for Halloween

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Ready for Halloween? Maybe not yet, but at Tuesday’s Community Information Forum, formerly known as Woodworks, Fort Leonard Wood officials said they’re ready for families of military personnel and servicemembers who want to celebrate the night safely. Lt. Col. Chad Goyette said MPs will be present in the housing areas as well as providing additional personnel for the post’s access points on Halloween night.

MWR representative Megan O’Donoghue said the post’s official Trick or Treat time for door-to-door candy gathering will be 6 to 9 p.m. The Eagle Point area gets packed, she said, and she encouraged families to consider visiting haunted houses with their children.

“Has everybody enjoyed the haunts so far?” O’Donoghue asked.

Fort Leonard Wood’s BOSS program (Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers) will host its last haunted house for the season this Friday and Saturday, according to the BOSS president, who said there will be other opportunities for BOSS volunteers after Halloween. Those include a free trivia night Nov. 20 at the Pershing Club with teams of six or more, and volunteering at local animal shelters with activities such as walking dogs.

Representatives of both the Waynesville-St. Robert and Rolla chambers of commerce said their communities have numerous Halloween activities as well which may interest those on Fort Leonard Wood. The Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce representative said “there are so many things to talk about it is easier to tell you to go to our website” while the Rolla Chamber representative called attention to that community’s haunted mine running from Oct. 29 through Oct. 31.

Other upcoming MWR events include the Nov. 17 Thanksgiving buffet at Pershing Community Center, a Nov. 18 hiring fair at the St. Robert Community Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. rather than the more usual on-post locations, which she said should help by providing easier access for those who don’t live on post, and more than 500 free live Christmas trees provided through the Trees for Troops program of FedEx and the Christmas Spirit Foundation.

For Christmas, Jimin Roscoe said she needs more family readiness groups to sign up for the gift wrapping program. Last year 24 FRGs signed up but only 10 have signed up so far this year, with a signup deadline of next week Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Regarding the hiring fair, Dan Furlano from Army Community Service said he understands the job market is competitive nationally, and that’s even more difficult in the Fort Leonard Wood area.

“I think we all know that finding a job is a full-time job; Army Community Service is here to assist,” Furlano said.

Alfreda Williams of the post’s Transition Assistance Program said currently 1200 soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood are within an 18-month window prior to leaving the Army, and post officials plan numerous hiring fairs.
“As everyone knows, as the Army downsizes, we have an obligation to make sure our soldiers are career-ready,” Williams said.

Deputy Garrison Commander Kathlene Aydt concurred, noting that the companies coming to Fort Leonard Wood’s hiring fairs have jobs in hand to offer.

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