By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - Fort Hood and city leaders unwrapped the Fort Hood Community Outreach Center, a pilot program to ease access of services offered on post, Thursday by cutting a ribbon.
"This is all about taking care of the military and their families where they live," said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps and Fort Hood acting senior mission commander, before cutting the ribbon to signify the grand opening of the center.
The Fort Hood Community Outreach Center is a satellite office of the Fort Hood Resiliency Campus. It will provide similar services by offering military families Leave and Earnings Statement assistance, Army Emergency Relief Loans assistance, Army Community Services, chaplain assistance, military family and life consultants, along with information about numerous other programs and area events.
There are tremendous programs offered at Fort Hood for soldiers and their families, but sometimes the soldier or their family members can be overwhelmed with trying to obtain those services on post, Grimsley said. The center allows them to come to a place closer to their homes for those same services.
Grimsley thanked the city and the community for its efforts to make the center possible. The city is paying the rent for the facility at a discounted rated from the property owners. The Army is providing the staffing.
"What ultimately makes the Great Place the great place is the people," Grimsley said.
Harker Heights Mayor Ed Mullen, whom Grimsley credited with the initial idea of placing an outreach center in the city, was also present at the ceremony. He thanked individuals who worked on obtaining the building and provided its non-staffing needs.
They included people such as Tim Boose and Brad Buckley who own the plaza where the center is located, Danya Reider who provided real estate contracting services for the city, Patriot Furniture and Andersen Schoel's for providing the furniture and the USO for the electronics and other equipment and more.
"We feel honored to be in a community where so many have of the citizens have sacrificed so much," Buckley said about why they donated a portion of the facility's cost.
The center is located at 581 Pan American Drive Suite 7. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.