By Todd Martin

Special to the Daily Herald

Looking into a crowd of children and students and their families and caregivers, the commander of Fort Hood said there is no more important job for him than to care for soldiers and their families.

The children took center stage, gathered around Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, the commander of Fort Hood and III Corps, as the general signed a proclamation acknowledging April as the Month of the Military Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Sixth-graders from Audie Murphy Middle School on Fort Hood presented the general three quilts they sewed to go to the Fort Hood Police Department Friday at III Corps Headquarters.

Shirley Marshall, the Quest class teacher at Audie Murphy, said her students were excited to learn to make the raggedy quilts.

The original plan, she said, was to give the quilts to a hospital, but students found out the police department could use them for comforting children.

At least some of the quilts, Marshall said, would likely end up framed on a wall at III Corps in honor of military children.

Sixth-graders Tamika Shannon and Alyssa Biggs said they enjoyed learning a new skill and were excited to share the quilts with someone who could use them.

"We asked (an officer) if they had a need and decided to give them to the police force," Biggs said.

"The kids were excited because they did it as a requirement of the class and were then able to come here (to III Corps headquarters) to present the quilts," Marshall said.

Lynch said it was important to work with community partners to "drive out child abuse" and to relieve stress on families.

Looking at the young people in the audience, he said, "We will do all we can to make your environment a peaceful one."

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