A host of local education, military, and elected officials expressed their thanks to 70 Waynesville AmeriCorps members who provide a range of important services to veterans and military families in the Fort Leonard Wood community.
The event, held Tuesday morning (Nov. 24, 2015) at Waynesville High School, saluted these individuals as members of National Veteran Corps, a national initiative to recognize veterans who serve in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps or who provide service to veterans and military families. The event was one of 200 ceremonies taking place across the country in November in collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
Speakers included Dr. Brian Henry, Superintendent, Waynesville R-VI School District; Colonel “Andy” M. Herbst, Fort Leonard Wood Garrison Commander; State Representative Steve Lynch; Dr. George A. Lauritson, Mayor of City of St. Robert; and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. The ceremony featured the presentation of Veteran Corps pins to Waynesville AmeriCorps members recognizing their service to the local military community, including nine veterans who are serving their country again as AmeriCorps members.
Currently more than 70 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members serve within the Waynesville R-VI School District where 75 percent of students are military-connected and local agencies serve a predominately veteran and military community. AmeriCorps members provide academic tutoring to more than 3,700 K-12 students, lead clubs and activities after school, develop initiatives to support disadvantaged individuals, foster partnerships between community agencies, and promote economic development and growth.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members that serve the Waynesville community,” says U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “One of the most daunting challenges our service men and women face is making the leap to a post-military civilian career. As we prepare for a large influx of veterans arriving back home over the next few years, it is essential that we provide them with the resources they need and give them the opportunity to continue service to their country at home.”
“It is especially fitting that during this season of Thanksgiving that we are recognizing our AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and National Veteran Corps members,” says Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent of the Waynesville R-VI School District. “We are so grateful for the relationships they build with our students. In education, we know that just one individual connecting with one student can make all the difference in the world in the lives of our students today and in their future. Our veterans who serve in these roles have the added importance of being a military presence in the lives of students whose parent may be deployed overseas. ”
“Our troops, veterans, and their families make tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom and it is our solemn obligation to support them when they come home,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Serving those who served us, and engaging the talents of our veterans to solve problems on the home front, are priorities for our agency. I salute Waynesville AmeriCorps members for putting into action our shared values of devotion, honor, and service to our great nation.”
“In this season of traditions, one of the most meaningful is the tradition of service,” said Missouri State Representative Steve Lynch. “No one has honored this tradition more than those that have served our country in uniform. To no one’s surprise, our veterans continue this tradition serving as AmeriCorps members, and pass on a tradition of service to the young people whose lives they impact. God bless our veterans.”
The Waynesville R-VI AmeriCorps program, overseen by the Missouri Community Service Commission, is one of 80 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs in Missouri. Altogether, these programs engage more than 6,100 Missourians in results-driven service at 860 locations throughout the state. These citizens tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.
Last year, AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers served more than 780,000 veterans and military members in VA clinics and hospitals, veteran service organizations, and at nonprofits and public agencies. In addition, more than 23,000 veterans served in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, applying leadership abilities and skills acquired during their military service to tackle problems on the homefront.
Phone numbers for Waynesville Schools