FORT HOOD — The east gate leading onto Fort Hood is now known for a man whose work and influence greatly impacted the Central Texas community scene today.
Frank W. Mayborn’s contributions and hard work are what make this great place the greatest place, said Col. Matt Elledge, garrison commander, in opening remarks of the dedication ceremony Monday afternoon just inside the gate on Tank Destroyer Boulevard. It exits onto Killeen’s Rancier Avenue.
The newly named Frank W. Mayborn Gate, complete with a brick sign and memorial on a sidewalk accessible from Club Hood, “serves as a reminder to the civilians and soldiers who pass through it the significant contributions Frank Mayborn made as a civilian and a soldier,” Elledge said.
Mayborn was a Texas communications pioneer who served as owner, editor and publisher of the Killeen Daily Herald and Temple Daily Telegram until his death in 1987.
He formed the “War Projects Committee” through his work with the Temple Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in the Army’s selection of Central Texas for Camp Hood in the early 1940s and the continued growth of the area. His efforts were recognized with many awards, including the Fort Hood Commander’s Award for Public Service in 1985.
In 1942, at the age of 39, Mayborn left the Telegram in the hands of his general manager and enlisted in the Army.
“What Frank stood for was bigger than a plaque,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood. “Freedom of the press — which Frank gave most of his adult life to — that freedom wasn’t earned by reporters; it was earned by Frank and others who fought in World War II.”
Sue Mayborn, who assumed her husband’s duties with the two newspapers after his death, said his time in the Army was an important phase of his life.
“One story he liked to tell was when he was assigned to Camp Hood and he was unpacking in the barracks. He looked around, it was all kids surrounding him,” Sue Mayborn said during remarks to a crowd of military and community leaders. “One young guy looked at Frank ... and said, ‘Geez, pops, what’s this war coming to?’”
She said his interest in the military didn’t stop after he was honorably discharged as a major in 1945.
“When he came home, he was ready, willing and able to pick up where he could to help Fort Hood and the area,” Sue Mayborn said. “If he were here today he would be just as excited and enthusiastic about the bright future of Fort Hood. ... He would be pleased and honored to permanently have his name associated with the Great Place.”
Contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.