Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Matthew Elledge speaks to the Harker Heights Rotary Club on Jan. 31.

Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Matthew Elledge was the guest speaker at the Jan. 31 meeting of the Harker Heights Rotary Club.

“The amount of support we receive throughout Central Texas is incredible,” he said. “It’s not like this everywhere.”

Elledge said Fort Hood is a world class, professional, Army values-based organization that is efficient and innovative, with leaders of character, prepared to respond with first-class service to soldiers and families, allowing units to focus on training and winning the nation’s wars.

“Even I’ve got a mission statement and it’s worded clearly that the United States Army garrison at Fort Hood provides service with a proactive workforce in order to ensure combat ready soldiers and provide comprehensive family support,” he said.

Elledge distributed a handout with facts about the installation. Some of the highlights included that 44,468 military members are assigned to the post, with 58,003 off-post family members. About 3,400 are currently deployed. “About 20 percent of our population lives on post,” he said. “The rest live in surrounding communities.”

Elledge said Fort Hood has a $25.3 billion annual economic impact on the Texas economy. Not long ago, he teamed up with Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison for a road trip with other city managers to illustrate the size of Fort Hood and the work that is carried out there. “They were very surprised.”

The Harker Heights Rotary Club meets from 7 to 8 a.m. Thursdays at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church Parish Center, 1000 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights.

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