The Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the United States Army welcomed back an old friend of Fort Hood’s for its general membership meeting Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim, who spent 10 of his 32 years in the Army in Central Texas, visited his old stomping grounds from his new position in San Antonio as commander of U.S. Army South.

“We’ve always felt at home here,” said the two-star general to the hundreds in attendance for the dinner at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

After reminiscing about homecomings on Cooper Field and his time with III Corps, Rudesheim spoke about the mission of Army South, which is responsible for U.S. Army operations within 32 countries and 15 designated areas in Central and South America.

“It’s a tough environment, but it’s not all doom and gloom, because of those groups that want to reach out and get better,” Rudesheim said.

The Army is there to provide support through joint task forces, disaster relief, evacuation operations, capacity building and medical teams in remote areas.

Aside from quarterly general membership meetings, AUSA works throughout the year to improve the lives of service members and their families in Central Texas.

“It’s a busy time of year for us,” said Bobby Hoxworth, chapter president and president of First National Bank-Texas. Next month, the chapter will host a golf tournament fundraiser, followed by its annual scholarship dinner in June, all while tracking the changing environment of the Army.

“Part of how to show support for Fort Hood with everything going on is to be a business member of AUSA and show their support for the families and soldiers right here in the local area,” he said.

While the Central Texas chapter of AUSA is the largest in the nation for individual membership, Hoxworth said the nonprofit hopes to boost its corporate membership as well.

In May, Gen. Robert Cone, commander of the Training and Doctrine Command, will be the guest speaker at a corporate membership meeting.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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