Fort Leonard Wood: Historic Route 66


Fort Leonard Wood: Historic Route 66

#PulaskiCountyUSA has been a travel destination for families for generations. This vintage postcard depicts the turn off from Historic Route 66 to Fort Leonard Wood. Since its construction in late 1940, the post has become renowned for state-of-the-art training and support of national defense and has served as the launching point for millions of military careers.

To get your turn by turn directions of Route 66 call 877-858-8687 or visit

1LT Hector J. Polla Road

Polla Road leads to the west gate of Fort Leonard Wood in #PulaskiCountyUSA

Polla Road leads to the west gate of Fort Leonard Wood, in #PulaskiCountyUSA

Hector John Polla was born in Lexington, Missouri in 1916. He graduated from Higginsville High School and Wentworth Military Academy Junior College before heading to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1937. Upon his graduation from West Point in 1941, Lt. Polla was deployed to the Philippines and stationed on the Bataan Peninsula.

He was there when the Japanese attacked on December 8, 1941. His courage and gallantry during the defense of the Bataan resulted in his being awarded the Silver Star Medal. He survived the Bataan Death March and spent nearly three years in Japanese prisoner of war camps. Survivors of the war camps praise him for the leadership, fortitude, and skill he demonstrated during the hard years of captivity. Lt. Polla died tragically in January 1945 after the Japanese ship on which he and other prisoners were being transported was bombed by American forces.

In addition to the Silver Star Medal, Polla’s military medals and other citations include the Purple Heart Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, the American Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and the Philippines Defense Ribbon.

1LT Hector J. Polla (1916-1945)

1LT Hector J. Polla (1916-1945)



Military Reunion Information

Pulaski County has unparalleled advantages as an ideal site for a military reunion.

Pulaski County has unparalleled advantages as an ideal site for a military reunion.

Destination Overview

We are not LOST IN THE WOODS any more…

Pulaski County, MO is the proud home of one of the largest military installations in the United States, Fort Leonard Wood. That unique asset-combined with our central location,first class military museums, natural scenic beauty and welcoming atmosphere-gives Pulaski County unparalleled advantages as an ideal site for a military reunion.

With the latest additions of the Military Police and Chemical Warfare schools to the existing Army Engineer school, Ft. Wood is the largest training installation in North America. Training includes all three branches of the military—including the Coast Guard and National Guard—and one of the largest contingents of foreign soldiers training world-wide. The post is open to the public and available for tours. Off post has changed dramatically as well. Pulaski County offers more than 39 lodging facilities including bed and breakfasts, motels and large national chains. Choose from over 1,600 sleeping rooms and over 70 restaurants offering hometown flavor (such as lip-smacking BBQ), national chains and many diverse ethnic foods.

Geographic Description

We’d call it a hideaway if it weren’t so easy to find…By air-fly into the Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport or by land-we are centrally located along Interstate 44. Pulaski County is a short drive from Kansas City and Branson, just two hours west of St. Louis and one hour from other enjoyable attractions including the St. James Winery region, the Osage Beach Outlet Mall and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.

Pulaski County offers:

• 39 Hotel/Motel options
• Over 70 Restaurants (from major franchises to out-of-the-ordinary dining experiences)
• Antiquing Trail
• 9 Historical Museums
• Historic Route 66
• Meandering Rivers and Breathtaking Ozark Scenery

Only location in the country with 3 Army Branch Museums-

Mahaffey Museum Complex

Named after the civilian to the Secretary of the Army, the museum complex houses the rich history and contributions of the Military Police, Army Engineers and Chemical Warfare Units during conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War. The museum complex is also adjacent to the WWII Army Complex museum replicating Fort Leonard Wood as it was during the 1940s. The Mahaffey Museum began as the U.S. Army Engineer Museum when it moved from Fort Belvoir, VA in 1989. The Military Police and Chemical Warfare schools moved to Fort Leonard Wood in 1999 and brought their respective museums to the Mahaffey Museum Complex.

The Military Police Museum

Get insight into the development of the Military Police from Provost to Modern Day Peacekeeper. See exhibits from old cap and ball pistols to modern day equipment. See how the Military Police handled marauders and deserters in the wild western days of the 1800s or prisoners of war during WWI and WWII. View the roles of the Military Police during the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as, the most recent activity in Somalia and Iraq. Holding facilities like Fort Leavenworth are also featured.

The U.S. Army Engineer Museum

This museum represents the different roles engineers play in the U.S. Army. The encyclopedia gallery includes artifacts and replicas dating back to the days of paddlewheels and pontoons. The topographic area features tools and projects of the surveyors and mapmakers from colonial times through the present. The land mine
display features mines, detectors and foreign armament used to develop land mine warfare technology. There are also models of the many different bridges the engineers build – floating, fixed and mobile and the explosives the engineers use to demolish the same types of bridges.

The Chemical Warfare Museum

Visitors get a first-hand look at the impact chemicals have had on conflicts dating all the way back to 1100 A.D. First-hand accounts and photographs of chemical warfare from WWI through Desert Storm and projections of future chemical development weave a story of innovation and survival of soldiers and important animals like horses of the Calvary and canines of the K-9 corps and the equipment used to protect them.

WWII Company Area

This collection of restored, temporary mobilization buildings is representative of the hundreds of thousands of buildings built throughout the United States from 1939 to 1945. During the peak of construction at Fort Leonard Wood in 1941, a building was being completed at the rate of every 45 minutes. During WWII, Fort Leonard Wood housed 5 infantry divisions, one artillery brigade and an Engineer Replacement Training Center,
training over 250,000 soldiers. Since its completion in the spring of 1941, over 3,000,000 soldiers have been trained here and Fort Leonard Wood is now considered one of the premier training installations of the Army and trains soldiers from all branches of the Armed Forces.

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Complimentary Services

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is excited to offer our services and expertise in planning your military reunion. Our partnership with Fort Leonard Wood provides us with many advantages in coordinating a memorable and successful event. Our experienced staff can assist you with many aspects of the planning process.

• Ft. Leonard Wood POC
• Facility needs
• Airport information
• Meal and lodging bid proposals
• Site inspections
• Customized itinerary planning
• Spouse itinerary planning
• Visitor center welcome receptions
• Event specialty items

Bring your reunion group to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, centrally located in the United States. We're right along I-44 between St. Louis & Branson.

Bring your reunion group to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, centrally located in the United States. We’re right along I-44 between St. Louis & Branson.

“Battle Buddies” Radio Spot


Bring your battle buddies back to where it all began in patriotic Pulaski County. A reunion specialist will help you to make your military reunion memorable & successful with complimentary planning services and itineraries. For more details log on to or contact Karen Hood at 573-336-6355.

FLW Museums Radio Spot


Visit patriotic #PulaskiCountyUSA. Did you know Fort Leonard Wood is the only place in the United States with three military branch museums in one location? They’re all open to the public with free admission.
Learn more, and get directions, at

This Week Around #PulaskiCountyUSA

Events for the week of March 18th – March 24th, 2013

 March 22nd- Boogie-Down Dance Party
What: Door prizes, hourly specials, and other surprises throughout the night
Where: Peppers Sports bar & Grill, 560 Old Route 66, St. Robert
When: Starts at 7 pm
Cost: FREE
Contact: Peppers Sports Bar & Grill: 573-336-2100

March 23rd– Taste of Pulaski County & Basket Auction
Sampling of area restaurants and specialty basket auction. 
Where: St. Robert Community Center
When: 11 am – 4 pm
Cost: Adults $10, Children (5-12) $5
Contact: Waynesville – St. Robert Chamber of Commerce: 573-336-5121

March 23rd-5th Annual FMWR Easter Egg Hunt
What: Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Colyer Park, Nebraska Avenue, Fort Leonard Wood
When: 10:00 am
Cost: FREE
Contact: Fort Leonard Wood MWR: 573-596-6913

March 23rd-5th Richland’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt
What: Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Shady Dell Park, Richland
When: 1:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Contact: City of Richland: 573-765-4421

March 23rd-St. Robert’s Easter Egg Hunt
What: Easter Egg Hunt
Where: St. Robert Municipal Golf Course
When: 1:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Contact: City of St. Robert Parks & Recreation: 573-451-2625

Looking Ahead:

March 29th: Sit, Stay, Rock N Roll Over
April 6th: 2nd Annual Race For The Ribbons
April 6th: Sports Cards & Collectibles Show
April 6th: Route 66 Scrabble Run
April 6th: 2nd Annual Kidz Karnival
April 6th: Paranormal Investigation of the Historic Talbot House

For more event listings in Pulaski County USA please visit our online calendar at:

Follow #PulaskiCountyUSA on our social media channels!

Follow #PulaskiCountyUSA on our social media channels!

Antique N Sweet Trail Radio Spot


Attention antique lovers, we’ve created an antique trail just for you. Come on down to #PulaskiCountyUSA where you’ll find a treasure around every corner.
To see a complete list of our antique trail, and other things to do, log on to