FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 11, 2014) -- After months of preparation, the Fort Lee Army Wellness Center opened after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.

The facility – located on Mahone Avenue across from the Provost Marshall Office – is where military members, retirees, their family members and Department of the Army Civilians can go to get help with weight loss goals, increasing physical activity, improving body composition, learn better eating habits and how to manage stress.

In his opening statements, Col. Thomas S. Bundt, commander, Kenner Army Health Clinic, said that the center’s goal is to focus on preventative medicine to enable the Fort Lee community to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Bundt thanked the installation partners in making the center available to the community a full three years ahead of schedule.

“A special thanks to the Fort Lee community, the Garrison and the Combined Arms Support Command for their partnership and support in moving this project along ahead of schedule,” Bundt said. “The Army Wellness Center represents a united investment in the Fort Lee team.”

Col. Paul K. Brooks, commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, said he is amazed at how little attention the average person pays to taking care of themselves when they don’t hesitate to take preventative measures in other aspects.

“We don’t wait for the engine in our car to seize up before we start to do regular oil changes,” he said. “But we will wait for our first heart attack before we start exercising. As Soldiers we don’t wait until our weapons are dirty and clogged to the point they misfire before we start to clean them, but we will wait until we get diabetes before we start eating right.”

Brooks said the Army Wellness Center will go a long way toward helping change the mindsets of community members.

“It will lead to a healthier force, a stronger force and a more enduring force,” he said. “The entire team, including MEDCOM, CASCOM and the garrison Department of Public Works, recognized the positive impact this facility could have on our service members, our civilians and our families.”

Brooks and Bundt said they looked forward to seeing the benefits the Army Wellness Center brings to the Fort Lee community.

To make an appointment at the AWC, call (804) 734-9925.