Here are the Archived entries for 5 2017

Celebrate ‘Kids to Parks Day’ in Missouri Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
GUIDON staff

Family-friendly activities are set to take place Saturday throughout Missouri’s state park system in celebration of Kids to Parks Day.

This national event is sponsored by the National Park Trust and endorsed by Missouri State Parks. More than 100,000 parks throughout the nation will be participating.  

Missouri is home to several award-winning state and local parks that provide an opportunity for children to engage in active lifestyles while experiencing all that nature has to offer. Kids to Parks Day events throughout the state are designed to encourage children and parents to take an outdoor adventure at a state park or historic site.

Some of the activities happening this weekend at state parks closest to Fort Leonard Wood include:

— Bennett Spring State Park, 26250 Hwy. 64A near Lebanon, will hold special programs on Missouri wildlife. A program on eagles in Missouri is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the park’s Nature Center.

That will be followed by a program on the hellbender — an  endangered aquatic salamander that is native to the park — from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Earlier Saturday, the park will hold one of its regular, twice-monthly tours of its trout hatchery. The tour is scheduled from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Call Ben Havens, hatchery manager, at 417.532.4418, for more information about the hatchery tour. For more information about the eagle and hellbender programs at Bennett Spring, visit

— Onondaga Cave State Park,
7556 Hwy. H near Leasburg, Missouri, will hold photography tours of Cathedral Cave and Onondaga Cave Sunday starting at 9 a.m. The tour of each cave is approximately three hours. Tour fees are $15 for the Onondaga tour, $10 for the Cathedral tour or $20 for both. Reservations can be made online at The park is also holding a free May Day Hike from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Visit for more details.

— Ha Ha Tonka State Park,
1491 State Road D in Camdenton, Missouri, will hold an informational meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at its visitor center. Attendees can learn about the current status and future plans for this historic park, which is home to the ruins of a 1905 European-style mansion known by many as “the castle.”  For more information, call 573.346.2986.

— Lake of the Ozarks State Park
, 403 Hwy. 134 near Kaiser, Missouri, has scheduled an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The park staff will be on hand to share information about the park with visitors and answer questions at the park office. For more information, call 573.348.2694 or visit

Events being held in other state parks throughout Missouri on are listed at  

(Editor’s note: Information for this story provided by Missouri State Parks and
Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 May 2017 )
Military Spouse Appreciation Day: Thank you military spouses Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017
By Maj. Gen. Kent Savre and  Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Stanley
Special to GUIDON

First declared in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, Military Spouse Appreciation Day acknowledges the driving strength behind our service members.  
We honor spouses the Friday before Mother’s Day, for their unwavering commitment and their ability to overcome challenging sacrifices.   

Spouses provide service members with the focus needed to fight and win our nation’s wars.

Spouses enable personal and mission success through their support provided during long deployments, assistance in multiple relocations, and reassurance given to dependents and loved ones while they are away.  

 They invest a significant amount of energy toward our profession and are critical to our “Team of Teams.”  

Taking care of our service members and Families is always an Army priority. Several programs on-post provide assistance and improve quality of life.  Programs such as Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Army Community Service, and the Spouse Education Assistance Program are available to our military Families and retirees.

We hope that you will take the time this week to show gratitude to spouses who endure tough times and continue to place the needs of their Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen above their own.  

Thank you to our military spouses — we are proud to serve with you.  

Victory starts here — victory through skill.

(Editor’s note: Savre is the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Stanley is the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 May 2017 )
Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank you teachers Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017
By Maj. Gen. Kent Savre and  Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Stanley
Special to GUIDON

This week, Teacher Appreciation Week — including National Teacher Appreciation Day, Wednesday — is an opportunity to say “thank you” to the teachers and professionals in education who not only serve our military children, but also support our Families and communities.  

Since 1985, our nation has formally celebrated educators the first week of May. We encourage you to honor teachers this week, and year round, for their lasting contributions to our academic accomplishments, and for their impacts on our lives.  

There are few professionals that directly shape future generations of America the way that educators do.  

Teachers helped us learn when we struggled, provided motivation when we were down, and served as inspiration for our future goals; they deeply influenced not only who we were, but who we grew up to be.

Let us renew our commitment to staying involved with our educators.

Take time to foster a relationship with teachers in our community, support our kids and their academic achievements, and remain engaged in our local school systems throughout the year.

We appreciate all educators in the Fort Leonard Wood area school systems.  

Thank you for all you do to make this a great place to live, learn, and work. We are proud to serve with you.

Victory starts here — victory through skill.

(Editor’s note: Savre is the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Stanley is the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 May 2017 )
Motorcycle Safety Month: Are you ready to ride Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017
By Robert Johnson
Public Affairs Office

It happened in a flash. I was on my motorcycle on my morning commute. It was the same route I had taken hundreds of times, and my mind wasn’t on the ride, but the day’s training with my unit.

 In an instant, a car ahead of me without brake lights stopped in the highway. I veered quickly to my right and into a convenient store parking lot, plowing into a pile of mulch bags.

 Thrown from my motorcycle, I managed to skip like a stone on a pond across the asphalt. Still running, my bike managed to scrape itself from fender to fender.

 I was lucky. Besides some scrapes and bruises, tears in my uniform and gashes in my helmet, the only real damage to me was my pride. My bike was trashed with bent handlebars, torn seat, dented gas tank and shift lever that could double as a kickstand.

 I wasn’t a novice on a bike. I had my first motorcycle when I was 10 years old and had progressively over the years increased the bikes I rode from 50cc to the big twin 1000cc I had just laid down. I had taken the division’s motorcycle safety course along with passing motorcycle tests in Ohio and Louisiana.  

 I had all the right gear: helmet, leather boots over the ankles, gloves and reflective vest, but I made one major mistake — I got complacent.

 Riding a motorcycle requires a great deal more concentration and the ability to be more aware of your surroundings than driving a car or truck. While I would never say driving a car is perfectly safe, I will say riding a motorcycle is infinitely more dangerous. You have to be aware of road conditions more than driving.

 A bug on the windshield isn’t that big of a deal, but a bumblebee up a loose sleeve on a motorcycle is panic time.

 With May being Motorcycle Safety Month, one should plan accordingly when deciding to take to the highways on two wheels. First, make sure you have all the right protective gear. Helmet, gloves, leather shoes over the ankles and long sleeves are mandatory.

 Other tips to keep safe on your bike come from Consumer Reports. They suggest the following to improve your safety on a motorcycle:

 — Never buy more motorcycle than you can handle. The bigger the engine the more torque, speed and weight, but those three can work against a novice rider. And buy a bike that fits you. If you can’t touch the ground without your feet flat on the earth, your bike may be too big for you.

 —  Watch the weather. A light rain may be fine for a ride, but it makes the roadways slick, and a heavy rain earlier can wash gravel onto the pavement. And while a side wind can push my Ram 1500 around, it can really cause problems on a Sportster.

 —  Be defensive. Drivers don’t always see you and those who do sometimes don’t realize how close they are to the bike. Drivers also do dumb things, like pull out in front of bikes, make turns without signals and stop unexpectedly in front of you. A study by the University of Florida showed that in motorcycle-car accidents, the driver of the car was at fault more than 60 percent of the time.

 —  Pick the right helmet. First, it needs to be DOT approved, but a full-faced helmet gives a lot more protection than some hard-shelled beanie.

 —  Finally, make sure your bike is maintenance ready for the road. Your tires should have good tread and be properly inflated. Check for leaks and make sure all your lights work before heading out.

 I walked away from my motorcycle disaster, but I was, again, very lucky. Every year, every month, a Soldier is killed in a motorcycle accident that could have been avoided. Pay attention, and don’t let complacency end your ride.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 May 2017 )
399th preparing for first-of-its-kind concert Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017
The 399th Army Band french horns practice their music for the joint concert in St. Louis. Photo courtesy of Spc. Kaila Moonan, 399th Army Band
By Stephen Standifird
Managing editor
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Fort Leonard Wood’s own 399th Army Band has been hard at work preparing for a joint concert with the St. Louis Symphony and U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Powell Hall in St. Louis.

This is the first time all three musical groups will be performing on stage together, said 399th Army Band director, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin McMillan.

 “To my knowledge, no Army band has undergone a joint concert effort with a world-renowned symphony orchestra,” he said. “The St. Louis Symphony is one of the premiere orchestras in the world and for an Army band to have the opportunity to share the stage with an organization of that caliber, (its) possibly a once in a lifetime type of thing.”

Plans for the joint concert began in November following a joint training opportunity with the symphony and Soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood. McMillan called the experience “gratifying for both organizations.” That feeling generated an interest in fostering a long-term relationship for not only more training opportunities, but the chance to perform together as well.

 Having Scott Air Force Base and their Band of Mid-America so close, it made sense to McMillan and the symphony to reach out to make this event even bigger.

 “We’re talking about a musical project that is a perfect musical depiction of how our country operates militarily,” McMillan said.

 The concert will feature patriotic works including, “America the Beautiful,” “Lincoln Portrait,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and more.

 In addition to the opportunity to perform with the symphony and the Band of Mid-America, the 399th Army Band hopes it will generate interest and provide for more community outreach opportunities in the greater St. Louis area, McMillan said.

 “There are so many benefits of this type of concert. Not just having organizations work together to foster a relationship with one another, but to branch out into the St. Louis community to foster the support of our citizens and promote national interests at home and abroad,” McMillan said, referencing the band’s mission.

 Sgt. 1st Class James Cipriano, a tuba player for the 399th Army Band, added the increased awareness of what the Army and the Army band has to offer will be beneficial as they branch out into the St. Louis area more.

 “It would be great if this can turn into an annual gala,” Cipriano said.

 Seating for the free concert is limited, and as of May 1, less than 800 tickets were available.

 For more information, or to reserve seats, visit the 399th Army Band Facebook page at or
Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2017 )
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