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75 Years Later, ‘The Great Place’ Remains the Gold Standard for the Army

Sep 18, 2017
Column

Representing Fort Hood – one of the largest military bases in the world – is the greatest honor I have as the Representative of Texas’ 25th Congressional District. Known as ‘The Great Place,’ it is the gold standard for the U.S. Army. It is composed of some of the bravest and most selfless people we have in this country. These men and women are not only an asset to Central Texas, they are vital to achieving the United States’ national security strategy.


Located in Killeen, Texas, this 340-square-mile installation is invaluable to the local community. Home to approximately 140,000 people, this post provides economic relief for a multitude of families by fostering over 12,000 civilian jobs. Whether it is in one of the three counties or seven local communities, Central Texas is a place for almost 400,000 residents. In a time where our country is finally recovering from financial turmoil, job opportunities are essential for the growth of this nation.


However, Fort Hood’s influence does not stop at just the local community level. As a true treasure of Texas, this small but powerful area affects the entire state. Recent findings from 2015 estimated that Fort Hood contributed $35.4 billion to the Texas economy. That equates to providing employment to 201,538 U.S. citizens. Fort Hood’s distinctive characteristics of military friendliness allow it to be instrumental to the contribution of Texas’ economy. 


Currently, Fort Hood is the only post in the U.S. capable of stationing and training two full armored divisions within its campus. This allows for it to be a Texas military hub, as well as a significant economic frontrunner year after year. Fort Hood is committed to those of us who are lucky enough to call the Lone Star State home by providing the most employees on a single site in the State of Texas.


When it comes to our nation’s national security, Fort Hood does not shy away. Since 2003, this post deployed and redeployed more than 852,000 soldiers overseas. As the greatest state within the greatest country in the world, we know how important it is to maintain our status as a strong and ready-for-action military. Fort Hood displays leadership through its state-of-the-art 21st century training for the 21st century solider.


Since becoming a permanent military installation in the 1950s, Fort Hood has come a long way - it has been dealt a hand that has been more trying than most in the past years, where time and time again, it has proven resiliency in the toughest of conditions.  It is made up of some of the finest soldiers I have ever had the opportunity to meet and I would like to congratulate ‘The Great Place’ on reaching its diamond anniversary; 75 years.


Three-quarters of a century of being a fully operational, active military post is something we can, and should, all be tremendously proud of. As I said before, Fort Hood is a special part of the 25th district and I am humbled to have the opportunity to fight on behalf of these brave men and women each and every day in Washington.

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