FORT HOOD — Soldiers and civilians gathered at Fort Hood Stadium on Friday for the post’s annual Independence Day celebration.
Central Texas families began arriving at the site about 5 p.m. for the celebration, which featured food, drinks, games and entertainment.
“It’s just a great place to bring your family and celebrate,” said Jackie Jones, who traveled from Morgan’s Point with her two grandchildren to participate in Friday’s festivities.
Musical guests at this year’s Fourth of July event included Pat Waters and the Chainlink Band, as well as Max Stalling.
Short remarks from the Fort Hood commander, Lt. Gen Mark Milley, were followed by performances by two 1st Cavalry Division bands: Warrior’s Call and the Crossfire Brass Band.
The night was capped off by a 30-minute fireworks show.
While music and fireworks were likely common elements of similar celebrations in towns and cities across the United States, Jones said being able to celebrate the holiday at Fort Hood was a reminder of just what Independence Day was all about.
“It seems like it means more when you are standing next to people that served our country,” Jones said.
Wanda Wizenhunt, who also brought her young grandson and his friends to the event, agreed. Wizenhunt’s husband is retired from the military, and her son was recently deployed to Afghanistan.
“The military is like a big family,” she said. “We all understand what (Independence Day) is about.”