By Rose L. Thayer

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD - More than a thousand people packed Club Hood looking for information about jobs, vacations and Fort Hood on Thursday.

The biannual event is a way for new post families to learn about the benefits available to them through the Army and the community.

"It's all the things that people have to know, that you can find it here in your local community," said Shirley Quick, an Army Community Service, Relocation Readiness Branch program manager.

Each summer, Hood Howdy focuses on youth and schools to help families who just arrived on post get settled and ready for the school year, Quick said.

Each room featured a different theme, such as health, jobs, community outreach and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities. More than 100 agencies and sponsors were on hand, offering information on everything from jewelry to vacations to after-school activities.

Tina Vaughn moved to Killeen five years ago, but said she still loves to attend Hood Howdy.

"I like to see what's going on," Vaughn said. "Because there's a lot of new stuff you don't remember or have never seen before. I always find out stuff I didn't know was here."

At the MWR booths, Shannon Amara-Bangali, a 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment spouse, was learning about activities available for her daughter. Even though she moved to Fort Hood a year ago, she said she's still finding new programs.

"It's so much information," Amara-Bangali said. "It's a great way to find out about a lot. Because the post is so big, you don't really know where to go."

Quick said Hood Howdy is a one-of-a-kind Fort Hood event, and has been a trend-setter among other installations.

"It's fun, it's exciting, it's a great endeavor to help families and get them settled in without the stress," Quick said.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

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