FLW-based National Guard unit honors Neosho YMCA for supporting soldiers

Matthew J. Wilson/Missouri National Guard Public Affairs

NEOSHO, Mo. (Oct. 13, 2009) — The Missouri National Guard’s 140th Regiment Missouri Regional Training Institute of Fort Leonard Wood recently recognized the Neosho YMCA for its support of the Army.

“For the past few years, the YMCA has made its Neosho facility available at no charge to the soldiers attending the engineer and transporter training conducted by the institute at Camp Crowder,” said Lt. Col. Michael Winkler, the institute’s administrative officer. “This provides the opportunity for soldiers to enjoy outstanding facilities and recreational opportunities not available at Camp Crowder.”

Winkler presented a community service award recognizing the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA for its outstanding support of soldiers attending military specialty training at Camp Crowder. Jenny Holweger, the YMCA facility executive director, accepted the award.

“We were very honored,” Holweger said of receiving the award. “It’s just something we do to support those who are taking care of us. It wasn’t expected.”

Holweger said it has always been a part of the facility’s business plan to support the military.

“We sit on Crowder College campus, which at one point was Camp Crowder,” she said. “Since the facility was built, which was almost nine years ago now, we’ve had a plan in place for the National Guard to be able to use the facility while they are stationed here. It’s something we can do to help support our military.”

Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Schaedler, the institute’s transportation course manager, said the YMCA facility is a great morale boost for the soldiers at Camp Crowder who are in training.

“It gives them a lot more activity options,” Schaedler said. “They are allowed to do sports and use the pool. It gives soldiers something to do in the afternoon after class to break up the boredom.”

The facility also provides a larger weight room and a variety of cardiovascular and fitness classes, Schaedler said.

“There are such a wide variety of activities,” he said. “We’ve got guys who go in there and play basketball two or three evenings a week. At least half the people go down there a few times a week and just use the workout machines.

“The personnel are really great people and very helpful. They always welcome the soldiers with open arms down there,” he said.

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