By Sarah Rafique

Killeen Daily Herald

Nathaniel Jarrett believes it's important to understand the past in order to succeed in the future.

The University of North Texas military history graduate student presented his paper, "Re-evaluating the British Flanders Expedition of 1793," at the second annual Central Texas Military History Symposium, hosted by Texas A&M University-Central Texas' department of history and political science and the North Texas' Military History Center.

Jarrett was one of several scholars who spoke and listened Saturday to historians give presentations on the past perspective and future relevance of military history, including Fort Hood's.

Jerry Jones, professor of history and chair of the department of humanities at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, said the symposium aimed to promote military history in the community, adding that attendance was up from prior years, with about 35 people listening to high-ranking military officers and well-known academics discuss projects in the area.

"It's a military community," he said. "Military history is an important subject and it's a good way for the university to give back to the community and highlight what we're doing."

The event was an opportunity for students like Jarrett to present at a conference without having the expense of traveling to another state.

"It certainly enriches their experience," Jones said.

Jarrett, who hopes to earn his doctorate degree and teach, said he believes people need to critically evaluate and understand what happened in the past in order to move forward.

"We can't understand the world we live in unless we understand where it came from," he said. "A lot of problems and misunderstanding in the world today stem from poor understanding of what happened before."

Retired Col. Lawrence P. Phelps, vice president for business development for the U.S. Army, said he hoped the graduate students attending realized the realm of possibilities in the world of history.

"The only thing I really want them to do is be as excited as I am, and I think they are," he said.

Phelps discussed the future of Fort Hood, including the National Mounted Warfare museum, which is expected to get 265,000 visitors annually and create 500 construction-related jobs.

"The museum is going to be very important for the community," Jones said, "if we can help support it, then it's a win-win."

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549.

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