By Audrey Spencer

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - The Coryell County economic development board discussed getting local military leaders involved with fulfilling its mission.

At its third meeting Monday, members talked about a draft from member Marty Smith, who wanted Fort Hood included in the group's purpose statement.

Smith said that the areas surrounding the post are "more military-friendly" than other communities she has lived in and wanted to connect the development council with Fort Hood.

Smith suggested that the board invite retired Col. Bill Parry, who heads the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, to the group's next meeting.

"He is always on top of what's going on in D.C., what they're thinking, the Pentagon, the (Defense Department), how different budget cuts affect all the different posts," said Smith. "He's hired by the cities around here to keep us informed and keep up on that."

In inviting military leaders, Smith said the board would send a message of inclusion. "We want to show them we're supportive of the military because that's our livelihood around here," she said. "In Fort Hood, soldiers are well qualified for jobs. We need to have people here to get them to retire in our community."

Smith also suggested inviting Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, to board meetings so participants can meet him and he would know the community wanted the post's involvement.

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476.

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