To the Editor:
The recent passing of former Texas Gov. Mark White brought back memories of when he visited Fort Hood in August 1984 to inspect summer training of the Texas National Guard.
I was assigned to cover his visit for the Killeen Daily Herald on my first day at the paper, Monday, Aug. 6, as a general assignments reporter.
Besides my first helicopter ride, one of my most memorable moments of Gov. White’s visit is described in a caption under an Aug. 7 Herald photo of him preparing to fire a mortar round from atop a military vehicle. The caption states that Gov. White prepares to “drop one down the tube” while a sergeant assisting him looks downrange.
The caption also notes that the governor was told by nearby guardsmen that he “didn’t miss by much” with the rounds he fired.
Another Herald photo shows him eating a noon meal of field rations with officers of the 49th Armored Division.
The caption notes that Gov. White, “a former Guardsman, was served such items as barbecue beef, chocolate cookies and dehydrated peaches. He said the food had gotten better since he served 18 years (earlier).”
I wanted to share these memories with your readers as a reminder of days gone by when a governor was allowed to fire off mortar rounds in front of reporters. Thank you.