By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD – The efforts of those who greet soldiers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on their way home were recognized during Thursday's Hood Hero Awards Luncheon.

Two emergency crews and other members of the community were also honored at the event, conducted at the Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center.

"Today we recognize those members of our Fort Hood family that go above and beyond," said Col. Victoria Bruzese, garrison commander, in her opening remarks to those in attendance.

Bruzese recognized Bert Brady, of Dallas, for his constant community support to Fort Hood.

Brady is one of many greeters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who attend the arrivals of homecoming soldiers at DFW airport.

He said he wants the soldiers to feel a warm welcome when they return to the United States, unlike the welcome that soldiers who served in Vietnam received.

"They are the heroes, and we don't intend to let what happened in Vietnam happen again," Brady said. "That was an embarrassment to the United States."

Brady was honored to receive such an award from Fort Hood and showed his appreciation to those serving in Iraq.

"It's humbling to be honored," he said. "We don't feel like we did anything. These guys are the real heroes; we aren't."

Other attending greeters from the Dallas-Fort Worth area received coins honoring their efforts to support soldiers.

"Sometimes, if the soldier lives in Fort Worth, they take them home to see their families to surprise them," Bruzese said.

Fort Hood recognized the efforts of two emergency teams who managed disasters on post during the quarter.

"We would like to honor people that work quietly until they are called upon," Bruzese said.

The Killeen, Harker Heights, and Fort Hood Fire departments; the Killeen and Fort Hood Police departments; System Studies and Simulations, Contract Helicopter; and Fort Hood Emergency Services members were recognized for their efforts in the search for 2-year-old Izaiah Conway.

Izaiah went missing March 30 and was found dead on April 2, after apparently falling into Nolan Creek.

Sgt. Christopher Perkins, of the Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services and the Fort Hood Fire Department, was honored for evacuating homes in the Clear Creek and Commanche residential areas on Fort Hood. The homes were threatened by a fire that occurred on post on Feb. 24.

The event always honored educational supporters, Fort Hood basketball and cheerleader coaches, customer service representatives on post and other volunteers.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or call (254) 501-7554

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