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Fort Hood dining facility recognized for unit education excellence

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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:30 am

The Patriot Inn Dining Facility was presented with the Hood Hero award for unit education excellence at Club Hood on Feb. 12.

The Hood Hero Award Ceremony is held quarterly to honor special people who strive to make Fort Hood a great home for soldiers and their families, said Brig. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commander of III Corps and Fort Hood. All of the awardees at the ceremony demonstrate care and commitment to those who serve, whether they are military or civilian, he said.

Master Sgt. Norma Dealcala, the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade food service management noncommissioned officer from the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, and Sgt. 1st Class Robin Propes, the senior food operations sergeant from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, accepted the award on behalf of the Patriot Inn Dining Facility.

The leaders of the Patriot Inn Dining Facility demonstrate their care and commitment to soldier success and readiness by helping the soldiers who work in the dining facility get closer to attaining their goals in education.

“Our biggest goal is to encourage college to the soldiers,” Dealcala said.

Soldiers who work in dining facilities often work on a schedule that is not conducive to being able to take college courses. Because of this tough and demanding work schedule, the leaders of the Patriot Inn Dining Facility decided to bring college to the students.

The Patriot Inn Dining Facility has been working in cohesion with Central Texas College, bringing instructors into the dining facility to teach classes on both basic food preparation techniques as well as some general education classes, Dealcala said.

The dining facility started this partnership with CTC more than six months ago, and it is turning out to be a success among the soldiers. They have had as many as 20 soldiers taking these classes, and as long as they have at least 15 who are willing to participate, CTC will continue to provide this opportunity for the soldiers to learn outside of the normal student environment, Dealcala said.

In addition to the soldiers being able to receive college credits which will help them advance in their careers, this program also helps the troops hone their time management skills.

“Your outstanding support goes above and beyond expectations every single day,” Richardson said about the Hood Hero awardees.

The commitment and service of these awardees reinforce this post’s reputation as a family post, and the programs and services that the awardees continue to support make soldiers more vigilant and ready to meet the needs of the nation, Richardson said.

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