National Guard holds a ribbon cutting for new resiliency center
JEFFERSON CITY - The idea for the Missouri National Guard Resiliency center came in 2010 and now, five years later, the idea has become a reality.
On Saturday, Gen. Stephen Danner and his wife cut the ribbon at a ceremony to celebrate the new resiliency center and chapel named after Gen. Danner himself.
The National Guard was having problems funding the project back in 2014, but thanks to groups like Veterans United, the Ameren Corporation and others, donations flowed in and funded the building costs.
"We formed a foundation with the foundation members," Danner said. "We've worked hard over the past four years to raise the funds to do this ourselves."
The center overlooks the Missouri River and has a rare statue of a minuteman in front.
According to Danner, the center will provide Missouri National Guardsmen and their families with services to improve their mental and physical health. The center also includes a chapel to help Guardsman with spiritual issues.
The chapel will host ceremonies, memorial services and weddings, the first of which is scheduled for October.
Chaplain Colonel Gary Gilmore said this center is what has helped the Missouri National Guard become second in the nation in strength and readiness.
Danner said that this center isn't just for Missouri National Guard members, though.
"The 15 programs we have available is available to all services," Danner said. "We will not turn away anyone who wants help from a sister service."
Now that the center is complete, Danner is looking to start a new project: the National Guard Youth Challenge Program. This program would help youth obtain their high school diploma or GED when they originally weren't able to do so.
"This will help some of those kids ou, and who knows, maybe some of them will be guardsman one day." Gilmore said.
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