Soldiers from 13th Sustainment Command hosted a group of 51 “Zoomers”from Sun City for a tour of Fort Hood on April 25.
The Zoomers are an activity group from an active retirement community near Georgetown.
During their visit, the Zoomers observed a demonstration by the 1st Cavalry Division’s Horse Cavalry Detachment, fired simulated weapon systems at the Fort Hood Engagement Skills Trainer and toured the 1st Cavalry Division Museum.
“It was great to take them around Fort Hood for the day and show them some of the activities we’ve got going on around post,” said Sgt. 1st Class Roderick Collins, operations noncommissioned officer for the command’s support operations section, who was an escort for the day along with Sgt. 1st Class Jason Long, a supply and services NCO from the same section. “It was also great to hear stories as several of them were veterans and had great stories from their time.”
In addition to the tour guides from the command, the Zoomers were accompanied by retired Command Sgt. Maj. William Gainey, a former III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major and the first person to hold the position of senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff before retiring in 2007.
“When I was approached by the Zoomers for this trip, I jumped on it,” Gainey said. “When I retired, I purposefully moved back to the Fort Hood area so that I could continue to be close to soldiers. This is a great opportunity to show some of our neighbors from Sun City just what some of these soldiers are doing.”
Gainey said the trip was not only significant for the group from Sun City to see what the soldiers do, but it’s also essential the soldiers notice the vested interest of partnering communities.
“It’s important the soldiers see that the folks from Sun City and other neighbors take interest in what is going on here on Fort Hood,” Gainey said. “Not only are they interested in what’s happening on Fort Hood, they are interested in what the soldier is doing.”
“I was really impressed by everything,” said Patrick Henry, a former member of the British Armed Forces who helped organize the trip for his group. “One of the things that really stood out to me was the different technologies that were unthinkable during my time.”
In the end, Henry said he and the other Zoomers had a fantastic time and look forward to future opportunities to visit Fort Hood. “The soldiers and everyone have been more than hospitable and have made the occasion memorable. We look forward to returning.”