• January 27, 2015

Thousands attend post’s celebration

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:11 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

The annual Salute to Our Heroes event is a family tradition for Spc. Kimela Cole and her family.

They have attended it since arriving at Fort Hood in 2004.

Cole is set to leave for Iraq for her third deployment in just a few months, so she takes advantage of events like Friday’s salute to spend time and have some fun with her family.

Cole; her 15-year-old daughter, Robin; 9-year-old daughter, Kamela; and 1-year-old son, Robert Diggs Jr., sat on a blanket in the grass near Hood Stadium, feasting on submarine sandwiches, chips and drinks. On a nearby stage, Latin artist Jennifer Peña drew a large crowd of dancing, hand-waving, picture-snapping fans.

Cole is a cook in the 4th Infantry Division’s Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. The Louisiana native joined the Army in 2001 for a better life, she said. She and the kids were waiting for Cole’s husband to get off work so he could join them at Fort Hood. The girls, who attend Shoemaker High School and Duncan Elementary School, were glad to get out of school early so they could have some fun.

Killeen and Copperas Cove independent school districts released students early to encourage participation since the post planned a special event on such a massive scale, said Bob Massey, the Killeen district’s spokesman.

Robin was looking forward to visiting some of the carnival rides, but for a moment on Friday, she was all about the food. She liked spending a lot of time with her family, she said, while happily devouring a sandwich.

Events like the salute are very important to Cole because it is a way to spend time with her children before she deploys.

She also was impressed to see the amount of support the local communities showed at the event. That support came through donations of 50,000 meals that included pizza, chicken, ice cream, sloppy joes, chips and sandwiches; 30,240 bottles of water; and 72,000 sodas. Other companies and organizations handed out bags, pens, hats, CDs and a lot of other goodies.

Artists like Peña, Mark Chestnutt, Tantric, El Grupo Mania and II Face and local band Kritickill performed. Diana Falzone, Maxim model and radio host; Jack and Dawn Hammer, from Fox 107.3FM; Metal Sanaz, video jockey and MySpace star; and actor Lou Gossett Jr. also made appearances.

Thirteen artists made appearances — all of them volunteering, said Monty Campbell, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation spokesman.

About 80,000 people were estimated to have attended Friday’s event.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or call (254) 501-7547

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

KDH Poll

Killeen cancer support group meets today
Posted: January 27, 2015

A Killeen cancer support group meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today in room 122 at the Metroplex Medical Plaza, 2201 S. Clear Creek Road, the corner of Bell Tower and Clear Creek.

more »
U.S. 190 lane closure scheduled this week
Posted: January 26, 2015

The left lane of eastbound U.S. Highway 190 frontage road between Stan Schlueter Loop and Knight’s Way and the Knight’s Way exit will be closed from 8 a.m. Tuesday through 8 a.m. Thursday.

more »