The famous Budweiser Clydesdales trotted through Central Texas last week, making two stops at Fort Hood.
The horses were at the III Corps Express Shoppette on Friday afternoon, and appeared at the Great Place again Saturday in front of the Clear Creek Shopping Center.
The last time Judy Gurgas saw the Clydesdales was in 1977 with her daughter Karin.
“In Daytona Beach, Florida, that’s when I saw them last. Our little girl was about 3 years old then …. We got to go in and see all the horses,” said Gurgas, wife of an Army veteran.
Her daughter, now much older, ran up to a horse named Scotty, and wrapped her arms around its legs.
“She’s in her 40s now, and she remembers that so vividly. ... She just hugged the horse like it was never gonna get loose,” Gurgas.
Gurgas and her husband, both of Killeen, were among the many Fort Hood area residents to see the Clydesdales last week, and have photos taken with them.
A life-sized Clydesdale display has been featured in the Clear Creek Shopping Center in anticipation for the horses’ visit.
“We were trying to get them here for the grand opening (of the new PX), but they don’t travel in the summer, so this is so exciting, and we’ve gotten a lot of great comments from the customers,” said Paula Gunderson, Fort Hood’s Army and Air Force Exchange Service manager.
“It’s another way to give back to the soldiers and families who so deserve it,” Gunderson said.
The Clydesdale horses travel about 300 days each year, stopping in a new city almost every week.
Following their visit to Fort Hood, the horses traveled to Houston to take part in this week’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
“This is our way of giving back from Budweiser to the military. We’re just fortunate to be able to be here and be able to give back in such a way,” said Rudy Helmuth, one of the Budweiser Clydesdale handlers.