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Today is Bob Gray Day. If you’re new to the Fort Hood area, you may have absolutely no idea who Bob Gray is. But to the people of Killeen, he is a World War II legend whose name will always be remembered.

  • Reena O’Brien
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Last week, we had our monthly unit coffee. Like many units, we are always looking for different and creative things to do when we get together. It always ends up being such fun to spend some quality time, but we like to have some sort of activity for those attending to enjoy.

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Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of catching up with some of my old battle buddies from the unit I retired from, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment “Garryowen,” and to meet new ones during the first Past and Present Garryowen Reunion.

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Tuesday was the Texas primary, the day we select who we’re going to put on the ballot in November in order to select those who will represent us in our local counties, states and at the national level.

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On Tuesday, Central Texas College will host a Veterans’ Benefits expo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Anderson Campus Center, located at building 156 on the central campus in Killeen.

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The Department of Defense recently launched a new initiative called “This is Your Military,” designed to address the growing civilian-military divide — something Secretary of Defense James Mattis has made a priority.

  • Reena O’Brien
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In the past few weeks, there have been many posts across social media about loud booms, windows shaking and rattling across the Fort Hood area. In every post, there was one consistent response among the dozens of replies. The one constant — “this is the sound of freedom.”

  • Reena O’Brien
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Last week I was honored to attend the Phantom Honors Retiree Ceremony at the Phantom Warrior Center. It was the first installation retirement ceremony I had attended.

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So you got a fancy wristwatch for Christmas and it tells you everything: How many steps you’ve taken, what your heart rate is, blood pressure, how many calories you burned during physical training ... Everything.

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So the government shut down for a few days. Democrats refused to vote to keep paying the bills unless immigration reform for illegal aliens brought here as children was immediately addressed, and Republicans refused.

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When I first enlisted in the military out of Odessa, Texas, I thought I knew what cold was. The bitter, cold winds streaking through the area unopposed would bite to the bone, so hey, I knew “cold.”

  • Reena O’Brien
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Almost every day as I drive around the Great Place, I find myself catching the Phantom Corps vision on the electronic billboards. Sometimes I get a chance to read through all of the pillars, other times I just catch one or two. Every single time, the importance of the vision makes me pause a…

  • Reena O’Brien
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This past Sunday, our unit had a shift of gift wrapping at the Post Exchange to raise funds for the Family Readiness Group. It was a great way to give back this holiday season while raising money for our Army families.

  • Reena O’Brien
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Last Thursday I attended the holiday tree lighting in front of the III Corps flagpole. Seats filled up with Fort Hood service members and their families, members of the Fort Hood Good Neighbor community and so many little ones hoping to get a glimpse of Santa.

  • Reena O’Brien
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On Nov. 12, 2016, lives were changed forever. In the early hours of the morning, the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade was beginning the day more than 7,800 miles away in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device on Bagram Airfield. The explosion killed five and …

  • Reena O’Brien
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This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have my mom come to visit. Most of my family lives on the other side of the globe, so time together is treasured. As my mom was here and I was showing her some of my favorite spots, I appreciated the time together as we laughed and enjoyed some great …

  • Reena O’Brien
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When people hear the word yoga, they often think to themselves, “I am not flexible enough” or maybe that it’s just stretching. What people don’t think about is the real practice of yoga, which is the science of the mind. Yoga is transformational. Here at Fort Hood, the impact can be life changing.

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There has been much ado over the last few days since the NFL and President Donald Trump have heated up the rhetoric over the controversy of professional football players using the national anthem as a platform of protesting against social injustice.

  • Reena O’Brien
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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a lunch-time presentation by two local higher education institutions, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University–Central Texas. The two institutions spoke about the unique challenges that military families face and the desire to pursue educa…

  • Reena O’Brien
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Military spouses have enough trouble finding employment. When it’s time for their servicemember to transition out, it can be daunting. The fear of the civilian sector can be intimidating. What servicemembers and their families need to remember is how much transitioning military have to offer.

  • Reena O’Brien
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As Hurricane Harvey continues to impact families across this great state, I am amazed and in awe of our military families coming together to help families in need. So many of our local families rallied together to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and continue to do so.

  • Reena O’Brien
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You may have heard the term underemployment. I recently read a story on a public radio website about the impact underemployment has on military families. If you are not familiar with underemployment, it is when someone who is highly skilled but working in jobs below their experience level, e…

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As Hurricane Harvey prepared to make landfall on the Texas coast, my Facebook timeline began to light up with all my battle buddies within the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National guard saying they were headed out to Galvaston/Houston/Corpus Christi areas.

  • Reena O’Brien
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It’s that time of year. The summer is winding down. The last-minute dash to get all the school supplies. Backpacks are being packed. The streets will soon be lined with kids waiting for their school buses.

  • Reena O’Brien
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The summer has been non-stop in our house. It’s probably like that for many of you. Whether you work full time or are a stay-at-home parent, the summer can bring on some unnecessary stress. Kids are out of school and you are trying to keep them busy.

  • Reena O’Brien
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Last month, I had the pleasure of listening to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football coach, Pete Fredenburg, speak. What an awesome human. What a great speaker. What an inspiring leader.

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During my time as a military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald, I often had the opportunity to speak to Gen. Robert M. Shoemaker — quite often, in fact.

  • Reena O’Brien
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The Texas days are hitting well into the 90’s. Moving trucks are lining the streets. Crates are being opened and cardboard boxes fill the driveways. Items you just don’t want to move with are being purged. Yes, PCS (permanent change of station) season is upon us.

  • By Reena O'Brien
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This past week, I had a consultation for a sleep study. While in the doctor’s office, she asked me what I think about before I fall asleep. I answered without missing a beat – everything. My mind races. I think about my work, husband, kids, friends, future, parents, siblings, and to-do lists…

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