The DeRidder Lions Club was visited by Courtney Due, who is the Director of Fort Polk MWR. She gave a presentation about what MWR is, and what it does for the community. MWR stands for morale, welfare and recreation.

They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for soldiers, their families, and the surrounding community.

“One of the things that we want to do is foster our community relationships,” Due said. “JRTC provides world-class training for the United States Army, and without good community relations JRTC would not really exist.”

Due explained some of the things that MWR does to increase morale in the community. MWR is perhaps best known for Freedom Fest, the annual Independence Day Celebration that invites the whole community out to celebrate on base.

Last year’s event saw musical performances by 3 Doors Down, LoCash and The Molly Ringwalds. On top of that, Freedom Fest boasts a firework show that is the envy of many.

Due stated  MWR is currently working on the headliner for Freedom Fest next year. Although she would not spoil the surprise, she said that the musical act headlining next year’s Freedom Fest will be “big”, and that “everyone is going to be so excited when we can finally make the announcement.”

Beyond Freedom Fest, Due explained the other events that MWR puts on throughout the year such as the most recent 5K Mud Run.

MWR also provides many facilities like Toledo Bend Recreation Center, Alligator Lake Recreation Center, fitness centers, libraries, housing, childcare. All of those things and more make Fort Polk, as described by Due, “its own little community.”

Fort Polk has its own golf course that is available for public use. The course recently received a $900,000 renovation, and Due said that she is excited for the community to come check it out. “We are really hoping that the community will come out and use our golf course,” she said, “It’s an 18 hole golf course with new greens.”

Those who wish to play golf can get a pass from the Visitor’s Center and play around on base. Avid golfers can even get an annual pass that would allow them access to all the golf they can handle for an entire year.

For those interested in MWR contact them at 1 (337)531-1979.