Press Releases

Smith Fights to Restore Access to Fort Leonard Wood’s South and West Gates for Families, Workers, and Patients

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Washington, February 23, 2024 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Jason Smith (Mo.) sent a letter urging U.S. Army Major General Christopher G. Beck, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Commanding General, to reverse the decision to limit access to Fort Leonard Wood’s South and West gates to prevent any further harm to communities surrounding the installation. As Smith noted in the letter, the gate closures are disrupting commerce and negatively impacting the livelihoods of local families, workers, and patients.

“Fort Leonard Wood doesn’t just play a vital role in our nation’s defense, it also drives the local economy and provides lifesaving care to patients in the surrounding area,” said Smith. “It’s unacceptable that Fort Leonard Wood leadership, despite significant concern within the community, reduced the operating hours for the South and West gate entrances for people who visit or travel through the installation every day, including employees driving to work, parents dropping their kids off at school, and commercial truck drivers transporting goods. What’s also troubling about this decision is its impact on patients who rely on Fort Leonard Wood General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital for emergency care like heart attacks or strokes when every minute counts. I urge Fort Leonard Wood leadership to do what’s right and reverse this decision immediately.”

On February 1, 2024, Fort Leonard Wood changed the operating hours of the South and West gate entrances from 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM, respectively.

Fort Leonard Wood is a critical economic driver, employing over 9,000 civilians and contributing $3 billion to Missouri’s economy each year.

General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital is the only hospital in Pulaski County and the closest within a 30-mile radius.

Click HERE to read the letter.
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