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Federal and state elected officials will join community for Listening Session

by Erin Kaberline | Feb 27, 2015

Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – February 27, 2015 – Community members in the Fort Leonard Wood region are encouraged to join Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, 4th District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, several dozen members of the Missouri General Assembly, and other state and local officials at an Army Listening Session on Monday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Nutter Field House on Fort Leonard Wood.

The Listening Session is a public meeting where U.S. Army officials from the Pentagon will be present to hear comments from federal and state leaders, and community members regarding the Army’s proposal to cut up 5,400 Soldier and Army Civilian jobs at the installation.  The Army is planning to reduce its force strength by as much as 20% over the next few years because of predicted budget cuts.

“These proposed cuts could have a huge impact on the Fort Leonard Wood region. The Listening Session is our chance to tell the Army our story and show the Army through our attendance numbers that this installation is critical to our region, to the state, and to our nation. We hope to see close to 1,500 people there,” said SOP Executive Director Joe Driskill.

An Army analysis estimates that the Fort Leonard Wood region could lose up to $318.2 million in annual sales, $299.8 million in annual income, and 13,388 people. The region could also see a loss of around 6,800 total jobs, which includes the loss of Soldier and Army Civilian positions, contract positions, and additional jobs related to the reduction in demand for goods and services.

The event is free and open to the public. Free public transportation will be available starting at 4:15 p.m. from the St. Robert Municipal Center. Buses will leave every 15 minutes and run until 5 p.m. Anyone over 18 must have valid photo identification to enter Fort Leonard Wood.

Those driving their personal vehicles should have their photo identification and vehicle registration and insurance available. Parking will be widely available and military officials will be on hand to direct traffic.

Further details about the event can be found on the SOP website: www.sustainableozarks.org.

Media interested in covering the listening session should contact the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office at 573-563-4145.

The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) is building on the Fort Leonard Wood region’s strong past and preparing the region for a healthy, resilient future. We are a nonprofit organization working to bring all of the region’s stakeholders to the table to drive regional development and advocate for new or expanded military and federal missions. Our region offers a high quality of life, excellent education opportunities, and easy transportation access. We are strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region.

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Strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region