The members of the Missouri House joined State Representative Steven Lynch in calling on the Department of Defense to reconsider a proposed reduction and realignment of Army forces at Fort Leonard Wood. The House voted to approve Lynch's House Concurrent Resolution #28 Monday evening by a vote of 148-0. A unanimous vote on the house floor is not a usual occurrence and demonstrated our state's continued support for and the importance of our military and their families to our state.
The resolution comes in response to a proposal by the Army 2020 Force Structure Programmatic Environmental Assessment to reduce the base population by as many as 3,900 soldiers and Army civilians. It urges the Department of the Army to reconsider the proposed reductions and not only continue full operation at the installation, but expand its missions considering Fort Leonard Wood has low operating and training costs, a multi-billion dollar infrastructure, multiple schools and training, and the support of surrounding communities second to none in caring for and honoring our military.
Lynch said the reduction would be economically devastating to the area if implemented. He also pointed out that our schools could lose more than 3,700 K-12 students with the Waynesville School District possibly losing 52 percent of its current enrollment. Lynch said he was encouraged to see his House colleagues stand with him to oppose the cuts that would have such an overwhelmingly negative impact on his district, our state, and our nation.
"I am so proud to live in a state that doesn't hesitate to step up and support our military and their families," said Lynch, R-Waynesville. "I believe Missourians need our military and the members of our military need the people of our great state. I welcome the opportunities to tell the great story of Fort Leonard Wood and our surrounding communities."
The resolution will now be forwarded to our congressional delegation and Senators in Washington DC.