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Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair, left, asks Col. Michael Greenberg, Garrison Commander, a question during the Fort Belvoir Bi-Annual Community Leadership Luncheon and Forum at the Officers’ Club July 23. The forum addressed education, traffic, new gate access and more. 

Garrison representatives updated leaders from both inside and outside the gates, at a Community Leaders Luncheon and Forum at the Belvoir Officers’ Club last week. 

Col. Michael Greenberg, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander, addressed the crowd and introduced some of his directors to update the audience. 

Veterans Benefit Service Office opening 

Kevin Rennick, the director of Human Resources, announced Belvoir will be the site of the commonwealth’s 35th Veterans Benefit Service Office, in Bldg. 1189, near the Bowling Center. 

The VBSO ribbon-cutting is 9 a.m. Aug. 15, and everyone is welcome to come out. Services provided through the office include health benefits; disability compensation; VA pensions; survivor benefits; home-loan guarantees; and education benefits available to Veterans from all service branches. 

Belvoir gates 

Representatives from Public Works and Emergency Services directorates discussed Aug. 26 as the expected opening date of the under-construction Lieber Gate, across Route 1 from the hospital. In coordination with Lieber’s opening, Walker Gate is expected to close around the same time, to allow time for crews to replace Dogue Creek Bridge. Current traffic studies indicate more than 5,100 daily visitors use Walker. When it closes, Belvoir will work with county and transportation officials to extend the left-turn light timing into Pence Gate from Route 1. Bridge construction is expected to last 6 to 8 months. 

Additionally, Lieber is set to replace Tulley Gate as the installation’s 24-hour access control point; Pence will have 24-hour exit capabilities; and J.J. Kingman Gate will have exit capabilities until 8 p.m, every day. 

School partnerships 

George Dickson, director of DFMWR, told the audience about partnerships that Child and Youth Services has with Mount Vernon High School, for student internships, training opportunities and employment programs, for Army youth who are still attending a secondary school. 

Additionally, Dickson said that Oktoberfest is Oct. 3-6 this year, but will have added events, including pony rides, a glow run and an obstacle course. “It’ll be better than any previous years at Oktoberfest and we all want you to save the dates and plan to come out and support our partnership we have with Germans in the area and support the event, which, in turn, supports local MWR. 

Civic Leaders’ response 

Sharon Bulova, the chairman of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said she appreciates the partnership the county has with Fort Belvoir. “It’s a strong, vibrant and consistent relationship that we’ve had for many years, now” she said. 

Dan Storck, the county’s supervisor for the Mount Vernon district, said the relationship benefits us all; and Pat Herrity, who represents the Springfield District, said “The partnership is critical, especially considering Belvoir’s relationship with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. “Opening the Veterans Benefit Service Office is critical,” he said, adding he’s looking forward to that, and the Army Museum opening. The National Museum of the U.S. Army is set to open in summer 2020 near the Belvoir Golf Club, off of the Fairfax County Parkway.