Fort Leonard Wood, MO - 01 JUL 2010

On July 5th, I talked about purchasing a pawn shop camera and then not being able to download the images. Refusing to pay more for a docking station then I did for the camera, I shopped around on the Internet until I found a cheap USB/Kodak cable. I am finally able to retrieve my images and share some photos of unknown people I found in the cameras' internal memory.
Now I can describe my Fort Leonard Wood experience. I flew into St Louis and then drove SW 2 1/2 hours to the middle of nowhere. Consisting of 62,911 acres adjacent to the Mark Twain National Forest (1.5 million acres), it is no wonder it's nickname is Fort Lost in the Woods.
MANSCEN (Maneuver Support Center) is home of the US Army Engineer, Military Police and Chemical Corps Schools, the Third Basic Combat Training Brigade, and Joint Training Detachments from the US Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.
The Museum had three sections, each with their own gift shop. The Chemical Corps museum had this gas mask for horses which was actually used in WWI.
I did not know (or remember) the Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as late as 1931.
Who was it that decided to bring home a large stone from a German Bridge that was nearly destroyed in 1945 AND kept track of it until it could become part of a museum exhibit in 2010?
It seems that everyone has a piece of the Berlin Wall...
...or, at least a picture of themselves, standing in front of it.

I couldn't tell if this was a private van or Army owned because it didn't have government plates.
This place is so big, they have a Million Dollar Hole...according to my students that is what it cost to create a place where Soldiers get to practice using earth moving equipment...but, I found this explanation on the Internet which sounds more plausible: "Each year, more than 8,000 engineer equipment operators and mechanics from all services train at Fort Leonard Wood--on more than 25 different models of equipment, totaling more than 700 vehicles. The 577th Engineer Battalion conducts most of this training at the Normandy Training Area (TA) 244, also known as the "million dollar hole" because of the value of the equipment there. "
One of our students gave us a tour which felt like viewing a movie studio backlot as there were several mock cities, places designed for real life training situations. There was a small town street, complete with a bar for MPs to practice removing belligerent drunks; Iraq type buildings complete with tunnel systems so the Chemical Corp can practice crawling through tight places checking for poisonous gases; and, all types of rough terrain so the Engineers can practice erecting different types of structures.

I was amused by these very large troop transport trucks driving around with a red & yellow "Student Driver" signs. I took so long trying to get a picture that a guard drove over to see what I was doing. If I had been using my professional equipment instead of my new Instamatic, he may have spent more time questioning me. I couldn't get the shoot I wanted, but I figured it was time to leave.When new recruits arrive they are given a battery of tests to determine their attitude, abilities and intelligence. Then they are given three areas of Army professions to select the one they want to study. One day when I was leaving Fort Sill, I notice a large open green field (polo field). There was a line of trash spread long the fence with an instructor guiding a soldier on how to use a garbage stick. I thought, how poorly does one have to score on those attitude/intelligent tests to end up having to learn how to pick up trash using a stick with a metal point? The pictures of unknown people I found on my new camera may have the 15 years, this kid could be a candidate for that job. It seems some one stuck some tape and paper trash on his head and he spend a long time walking around and playing without removing it because all the pictures were like this: