By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD - Ari Lewis and Jenica Santos have known each other since second grade. They both served in leadership roles in Shoemaker High School's National Honor Society and both played sports. Both plan to become pediatricians, and on Thursday evening at Fort Hood, both received scholarships through the local Association of the U.S. Army chapter.

Both said receiving money for college was "amazing."

The chapter and its scholarship fund donors handed out 61 checks to winners, who submitted essays, during a ceremony at Club Hood. It was the most the chapter has ever handed out, said Ron Taylor, chapter president.

"You all are the best of the best," he said.

The recipients, which ranged from graduating high school seniors to college students to soldiers to their spouses, are the future leaders of the country, said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps and Fort Hood acting senior commander.

The general also applauded the donors, saying they were the reason "we all love serving here at the Great Place."

Lewis' scholarship was funded by Bill and Anna Crawford, local donors and Texas A&M graduates who have given $33,000 over the last few years to students planning to attend their alma mater.

Lewis is Shoemaker's salutatorian and was named Exchange Club Youth of the Year. She is the band's head drum major, played point guard for the varsity basketball team and was senior class treasurer.

Her parents are Bobby and Nichol Lewis. Bobby is a range supervisor at Fort Hood and Nichol runs a day care. It was helping at the day care as a sixth-grader when Ari realized she wanted to be a pediatrician, she said.

Her friend, Santos, received the night's sole $2,000 scholarship. It was funded by Union State Bank in honor of Gen. Raymond and Linda Odierno, a past 4th Infantry and III Corps commander. He now leads U.S. Forces-Iraq.

Santos plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was ranked in the top 2 percent of her graduating class and was on the honor roll from 2007 to 2010. She is the captain of the school's tennis team, has served for the last three years as the Fort Hood Catholic Community's assistant religious educator and has performed with the Pacific Heights Express Dance Group for five years.

Her parents are Sgt. Maj. Jesse and Doris Santos. Jesse serves in the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or (254) 501-7547.

2010 Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter AUSA scholarship recipients

2010 Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army scholarship donors and their recipients:

Bill and Anna Crawford: Chelsea Graves, Michael Smalls, Cynthia Roman, Matthew Garrett, Christopher Wiggins, Ariana Lewis, Megan Hammond, Adriana Amagliani, Ryan Belcher, Alexandria Wood

Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army: David Tarsa, Simon Martin, Patrina Hudgens, Sgt. Joshua Hudgens, Madeline Daugherty, John Miller III, Melissa Miller

Fort Hood National Bank: Sriratana Sutasirisap, Lora Ann Jones, Travis Cox, Michael Knowles, Sasha Lafler

Extraco Banks: Valene Bummara, Zoe Simpson, Brandon Salter

Fort Hood Family Housing: Michael Presta, Torree Rheingans, Mary Frances DePrisco

McLane Advance Technology: Lauren Light, Jontell Ritz, Sgt. 1st Class Yesenia Murray

Union State Bank in honor of Gen. Raymond and Linda Odierno: Jenica Santos ($2,000 scholarship), Sgt. Lance Allen, Nelva Hayes

First National Bank: Michael Shaughnessy, Brenden Brushaber

Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce: Kimberley Houghtaling, Sgt. (promotable) Armando Dominguez

Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee: John Rudesheim, Capt. Micah Jacobson (Bernie Beck Scholarship)

Solomon Appliance and Furniture: Chief Warrant Officer-3 Rodney Key, Tekeya Somerall

Actus Community Fund: Caroline Hill, Michelle Masullo

Arrow Trailways: Brian Keller

13th Corps Support Command Association: Spc. Amy Lantrip

Better Business Bureau Education Foundation: Sgt. Nelva Hayes

Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee: Demetri Sosa

City of Killeen: Alexandria Hess

Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army past presidents: Irma Jacobson

Guyco: Lindsey Pearce

Pioneer Military Services: Olaf Meyer

Time Warner Cable: Matthew Vanderlaan

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor: Kelsey Belcher

Alion Science: Cassady Hossenlopp

Dental Health Management Solutions, Inc.: Tyson Adams

Karen Lucas: Brittany Adams

General Dynamics/Michael D. Romain Memorial Scholarship: Pfc. Kari Anglin

Military Officers Association of America: Jordan Smith

Retired Col. Jerry Smith JROTC Scholarship: Rueben L. Faiai

Temple Chamber of Commerce: Justin Ferguson

JROTC scholarship recipients

The following received $500 JROTC scholarships:

Texas A&M University-Central Texas: Israel Rubio

University of Mary Hardin Baylor: William McCarville

Baylor University: Matthew Graham

Harker Heights High School: Tashia Wilson

Shoemaker High School: Brett Watson

Killeen High School: Gairet Snow

Ellison High School: Betheni Keanaaina

Copperas Cove High School: Brittany Compton

Belton High School: Nicholas Trent

Temple High School: Susanna G. Mendez

Waco High School: Marisela Hernandez

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