Killeen officials who recently returned from the annual Association of the United States Army meeting in Washington, D.C., are seeking to use what they learned from up-close-and-personal meetings with top military brass early this week.
For Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra, that imparted knowledge is a tool to remind Killeen’s large active-duty soldier and veteran community that the city government is committed to serving their unique needs.
“It allows us to say we need to better engage with military families and make sure we as a community are doing what we need to do to care for them,” Segarra said.
“For them to have a community that really knows what they’re going through — it’s really important.”
Segarra and council members Debbie Nash-King, Steve Harris, Shirley Fleming and Gregory Johnson were members of the Killeen delegation to the conference, which took place from Monday to Wednesday. Killeen is home to AUSA’s largest chapter.
“It’s important as a civic leader that I know the key issues the U.S. Army are facing, learn firsthand military and foreign policy and how they affect Fort Hood,” Johnson said. “I left this conference as a stronger supporter of Fort Hood and its mission.”
Segarra said the highlight of the trip for him was an informal luncheon at the residence of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Monday.
Milley, a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander, retains close ties with the Central Texas-Fort Hood AUSA chapter, he added.
“(Milley) spoke highly of readiness and being prepared, which is a huge thing on Fort Hood,” Segarra said. “Hearing things like that — it makes you support (military families) as much as you can.”
The trip cost the city about $4,270 for registration, airfare and per diem expenses, Killeen Director of Communications Hilary Shine said.
The city is expecting estimates on hotel accommodation and incidentals next week.