Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The Leavenworth and Lansing communities offer a wide-range of support to Fort Leavenworth including housing, medical services and more, said Garrison Commander Col. Harry Hung, which is why he arranged a team-building event with Leavenworth and Lansing leaders Oct. 16.
“As those needs and concerns change with our military community, I want to know we can trust each other to talk about making positive changes together. That’s not always easy,” he said. “Building trust demands an investment in time to know and understand each other. Today’s event is exactly that — building the friendship and professional relationship with leaders who will have the greatest ability to impact the quality of life for those living just beyond the borders of Fort Leavenworth.”
“Many of our active, civilian and retired military live in these cities. We depend on each other for emergency services with mutual aid arrangements,” Hung said. “I also depend on these cities to meet the needs of our military community. This includes religious and schooling requirements, obtaining retailers and a variety of public and private service providers.
Wilson said he thought the trapshooting was an awesome idea.
Hung was joined by Garrison Public Affairs Officer Jeff Wingo, Leavenworth Mayor Jermaine Wilson, Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer, Lansing Mayor Mike Smith and Lansing City Administrator Tim Vandall for a morning of trapshooting at Brunner Range and then lunch at the Dining Facility.
“It was a great opportunity for us to build relationships and fellowship, learn from one another and also get an opportunity to experience something that we’ve never experienced together,” Wilson said. “That created joy and excitement.”
Participants took turns shooting at clay targets, getting 25 chances each.
“My first 15 rounds, I didn’t think too highly of (the activity), but after we got going a little bit and I hit a couple, because I would’ve never lived this down, it was a fun thing. It was different,” Smith said. “It definitely piqued our attention, and it was a fun thing to get out here with just the counterparts and have a good time.”
Leaders agreed that informal events help build the relationships.
“We share some of the same challenges on the fort as we do in the city, and our ability to just converse as colleagues or peers and share those experiences and how we would deal with them is very beneficial,” Kramer said, “and I think you can do that better when you already have an established relationship.”
Vandall said Fort Leavenworth is crucial to both Lansing and Leavenworth.
“It is just imperative that we continue good relationships and continue working together well, and that’s why these events are so crucial,” Vandall said. “We’re partners with Fort Leavenworth and that’s why these relationships are important.”
Wilson said it eliminates the busyness of the work environment.
“We all can become so busy and doing our everyday duties, serving the community, that sometimes we all just need to take a break so we can actually strengthen relationships,” Wilson said. “I think the best way to do that is outside of the work environment, a chance to learn from each other personally.”
Smith said he hopes it leads to similar events in the future.
“Whether it be training, whether it be social events, whether it be (an event) that we all attend,” he said, “just better communication is key.”