Vet Center

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Homer Garza, right, pinned a Vietnam veteran lapel pin on three veterans and a military spouse on Thursday at the Killeen Height’s Vet Center.

HARKER HEIGHTS — The Killeen Height’s Vet Center hosted a holiday open house this week. It was the facility’s first in-house event since a renovation was recently completed.

“Many people came during our renovations and haven’t come back since then. It was good for people in the community to see what we have going on now,” said Vet Center Director Kimberly Bayes-Bautista.

“We do something like this every holiday season. It’s mainly about people coming in, checking us out, and it’s nice to give veterans a little holiday treat,” said Amanda Baker, a readjustment counselor.

Staff took up a collection and provided light food and refreshments to veterans, active-duty service members, family members and community partners. The government does not fund events like this.

“We do it to honor them and to give them a pleasant day. It’s an opportunity for socialization,” Bayes-Bautista said.

“We try to, in general, to be really good collaborators within the community. We stretch our counties are far and wide. Plus, we have Fort Hood. We try to make sure everyone knows we are here and can help,” Baker said.

Thursday afternoon, attendees signed in at the reception window for door prizes. Winners were announced at 2 p.m. The lucky attendees picked out a holiday-themed door prize from the waiting-room Christmas tree.

An assortment of community leaders, veteran organization members, veterans and their families stopped by Thursday afternoon. Overall, 50 participants enjoyed a light lunch purchased by Vet Center staff and a variety of desserts from Rock Springs.

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