By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
Catherine Reid grew up with Fort Hood. Reid moved to Killeen with her family in 1941 when she was 3 years old. A year later, Camp Hood pitched tents near town.
"I've seen it go from that to what it is now," Reid said.
The Army post and patriotism are the only sources of inspiration Reid said she needed to write a song and poem.
"Fort Hood is the biggest training base in the world. I thought they've done so much for Killeen; why can't I do something for them?" she said.
Reid wrote a poem titled "I Am Your Flag" last year for an Independence Day celebration at New Sunset Community Church, of which she is a member.
That wasn't the first time her patriotism and appreciation prompted her to put her pen to paper. Three years ago she wrote a song titled "The Soldiers of Fort Hood."
Writing song lyrics and poetry is nothing new for 69-year-old Reid; she's been at it since she was about 10 years old. She writes about personal experiences, her children, grandchildren and other things in life. Sometimes, inspiration comes easily.
"Someone can say something, and I say, Ooh, that's a good song title,'" Reid said.
Reid does a lot of writing at night as she keeps a pen and paper by her bed.
She got her first record deal, however, with the song about Fort Hood. A couple of years ago her brother, who typically writes music to go with Reid's lyrics, saw an advertisement for a lyric contest through a recording company in Nashville.
Reid submitted her lyrics for "The Soldiers of Fort Hood" to Paramount Group, of Nashville, and won a recording session.
"I don't sing; I just write," Reid said.
So she told Paramount Group she wanted a male voice singing the song and selected a tempo, and the company did the rest.
"I was surprised; I really couldn't believe it at first," Reid said.
Now she gives the CD to soldiers she sees at the grocery store, walking down the street or anywhere else. It's her way of showing appreciation.
"I don't think there's enough that can be done for them," Reid said.
She said she doesn't agree with everything President Bush does, but she understands why he does what he does. Reid said that even if people disagree with Bush's politics, they should not blame the troops.
"I think the military men should be treated well, and when they're wounded and come back, they should be treated extra well," Reid said.
Now she's waiting to hear back from another contest through Paramount Group. This time the song is titled "Merry Christmas American Soldiers." The title isn't specific to Fort Hood, but is for all soldiers who will be away from home during the holidays.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7550