HARKER HEIGHTS — Retired Sgt. 1st Class Dana Bowman, the first double amputee to re-enlist in the Army, will kick off the fourth annual Welcome Home Celebration by parachuting into the event during an opening ceremony at 4 p.m. Saturday at Carl Levin Park.

Active-duty soldiers, veterans and their immediate family members are invited to the event, sponsored by the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. It includes free food, door prizes, entertainment and a job fair featuring employers who want to hire veterans.

The event is a way for the health system to thank veterans and soldiers by providing them with information and entertainment, said Deborah Meyer, public affairs specialist at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.

“It’s important for us to recognize the service that our soldiers and veterans have provided our country; especially the ones most recently in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn,” she said. “It’s important to be able to thank them for the great job that they’ve done to help with the freedoms of this country.”

Meyer said the collaboration for this event between the city of Harker Heights and Fort Hood was great.

“They’ve been wonderful to work with,” she said. “They’re on board with thanking our veterans and soldiers.”

There also will be booths with information about VA health programs, benefits and state colleges and universities.

Veterans who have not signed up for VA health care can register by bringing their DD Form 214.

“One of the other purposes of the event is to reach out and give them information to support them and let them know about the VA services,” she said. “We want them to have fun, but also to be able to give them information on what’s available to them.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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