The main attraction at The Lake of The Ozarks, of course, is the lake itself. We spend so much time swimming, fishing, skiing, and just enjoying the wind in our hair as we cruise through the water, that most of the time we just forget to look up. Then there are those times when you have to look up, when you hear lightning on a perfectly clear day. It is not a literal lightning bolt, but an A-10 Thunderbolt II, nicknamed Warthogs. The A-10s we see flying overhead in the “Land of the Magic Dragon” are part of the 442d Fighter Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base. Whiteman Air Force Base is 65 miles southeast of Kansas City, just off US Highway 50 near Knob Noster. During missions, the objective of the Warthog is to provide close air support by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets. Watching them fly above your head, you can’t help but feel their power with a surge of patriotism and pride.
Many veterans, retired military and former service members call The Lake of The Ozarks their home or home away from home. The proximity to services at both Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood make this area a natural choice for retired military members.
Whiteman Air Force Base offers a commissary and exchange base. Buyers must show the appropriate identification cards when making purchases at both facilities. The Commissary is a modern supermarket offering a full line of meat products, produce, grocery, bakery and deli. The commissary is open 6 days a week. The Base Exchange main store is located next to the commissary and is open 7 days a week. The Base Exchange flagship store also offers Anthony’s Pizza, Frank’s Franks, Burger King, Robin Hood Deli, a coffee shop, florists, barber and beauty shops, a laundry / dry cleaning and a cell phone retailer.
Fort Leonard Wood is located off Interstate 44, near the cities of Waynesville and Saint Robert. The Main Exchange Mall is open daily and has a food court and offers a variety of concessions including barber and beauty salon, shoe shine, florist, optician among others. The Commissary is also open 7 days a week and offers a full line of grocery items, including rotisserie chicken and sushi. Leonard Wood Army General Community Hospital has 450,000 square feet of clinic and ward space and offers a full range of medical services to active duty military personnel, military retirees and TRICARE Prime enrolled family members. Not top-notch patients are considered space permitting. The Army’s Morals, Welfare and Recreation department operates the Lake Of The Ozarks Recreation Area (LORA) in Linn Creek. LORA welcomes active duty military, retired military, National Guard and Reserves members, DOD employees with ID cards, family members, and contract employees from Fort Leonard Wood.