By Iuliana Petre
Killeen Daily Herald
During Fort Hood’s Arbor Day celebration, members of the military community gathered at the future site of a handicap-accessible playground on Fort Hood, to plant 50 trees and unveil a plaque in honor of wounded warriors.
The pecan grove is dedicated to the more than 1,200 service members currently assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Hood.
“The grove symbolizes growth and life,” said Michelle Wallace, community manager for Fort Hood’s family housing office.
Lt. Col. Timothy Snider, commander of the warrior transition battalion, said that the grove symbolizes the needs of the wounded warriors for support from family members, friends and fellow soldiers in order to heal. Trees too, require natural resources such as sunshine, soil and water to grow.
Snider, who quoted Abraham Lincoln, said that there is no greater responsibility than the care of our wounded soldiers, and it takes all of us to make this happen.
Spc. Christopher Skeens, a soldier assigned to the warrior transition battalion, was wounded in Iraq when he was deployed with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Skeens has been with the warrior transition battalion since October. Skeens suffered damage to his lungs, back and knees, and requires a wheelchair to get around.
Skeens has two handicapped children and is grateful for the playground, which will be built next to the grove. “It will be nice to have a place to spend with my kids,” Skeens said.
Skeens’ sustained injuries are enough that he will be medically retired from the military, but he is grateful for the recognition he has received for his service.
Contact Iuliana Petre at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7469