Warrant Officer Association Bingo at Indian Oaks LIving Center

Chief Warrant 2 Sarah Garcia, right, helps residents of the Indian Oaks Living Center in Harker Heights play Bingo on Thursday, February 9, 2017.

HARKER HEIGHTS — The motto for the Fort Hood Warrant Officers Association Silver Chapter is “Networking for a Better Us.”

Throughout the year, the association spearheads many community activities, such as trash pickups, car washes and playing Bingo with residents at the “Monthly Bingo Game” at Indian Oaks Living Center.

On Thursday, six members lent a hand assisting about 20 residents for the hour-long games.

Resident Mark Anthony Cook said the “pretty female soldiers” bring him good luck.

“I appreciate the soldiers spending time with us,” said Cook.

The only number Georgia Cantrell needed for a win was O-70.

“I feel lucky today,” Cantrell said.

But I-19 was called instead to the delight of Lynn Sorenson.

“The soldiers are a big help, and we win prizes we need,” she said.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Laura Gentry is the association’s treasurer, who buys the prizes with her own money or with coupons. She never misses a Bingo day, because the event is good for both the seniors and soldiers.

“We all enjoy their fellowship and giving back to the community is wonderful,” Gentry said.

During the games, soldiers sat with residents, helping them cover their numbers as Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeremy Peterson pushed the cart of prizes from winner to winner.

“I like hanging out with my friends and I really love hearing the stories they tell,” said Peterson.

The current Fort Hood WOA membership is only about 20, and fluctuates due to deployments and retirements, so more members are needed, said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Stout, chapter president.

“You don’t have to be a warrant officer to join,” he said. “We have all ranks of active duty, retirees and spouses and civilians.”

Also, the WOA is looking for a permanent building on Fort Hood to hold its meetings.

“Right now we meet at various locations, so we need a consistent space for the members and one that is also family-friendly,” said Stout.

After the Bingo event ended, a surprise award ceremony was held for Chief Warrant Officer 2 Yolanda Peterson, the outgoing secretary. She deploys to Kuwait soon for nine months, but not before she received a Texas-shaped award from the association in appreciation for her two-years of work.

“We’re small, but mighty and I thank everyone for helping me,” Peterson said. “It’s awesome to bring joy to the seniors, because some don’t have family — so we’re their family.”

For membership information, go to www.facebook.com/WOASilverChapter.

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