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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

New program aims to increase partnership between Fort Hood soldiers and Central Texas community

The program is designed to increase partnerships between Fort Hood and the Central Texas community through networking events, and professional development forums.

FORT HOOD, Texas — A new program, still in its infancy, hopes to build a true partnership between the community and the soldiers at Fort Hood. It is an idea that came about after the Secretary of the Army's visit to the installation. 

More than 18,000 E-1’s through E-4’s live or work on Fort hood. Most of those are 18-24-year-olds who enter the army and move away from home for the first time. 

"So how do we get them involved in our community?” Command Sergeant Major for III Corps and Fort Hood Cliff Burgoyne said. “The community you live in really makes a difference." 

A new way to get them involved is through the Central Texas Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the United States Army's mentorship program. The program is designed to increase partnerships between Fort Hood and the Central Texas community through networking events, and professional development forums.

"If a , a family member or spouse has an interest in real estate or entrepreneurship, or whatever their drive is, we want to be able to link them to somebody within our community who is an expert in their field to help them reach their dreams," President of the Association of the Army Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter Kelly Brown said. 

According to Fort Hood, about 20 percent of their soldiers live on post. The remaining soldiers live out in the community, which consists of three counties: Bell, Coryell, and Lampasas. 

There is a need to be mutually supportive of each other in to prosper.

"It’s our responsibility as military leaders to teach our young soldiers what the community is about and so forth,” Burgoyne said. “So, we are going to provide them with those resources." 

To make this program a success, the AUSA was worked with the local chamber of commerce as well as profit and nonprofit organizations. They have even looked for community mentors and leaders to help. 

"A lot of our community are retired military, and this would give them an opportunity to reconnect with their Army and learn more about the soldiers and their families. In other parts of our community who are not familiar with the military, it gives them the opportunity to learn about who is that person in the uniform and what’s in their mind and their heart,” Brown said. 

If you are a veteran or a civilian leader who wants to sign up to be a mentor for a solider and their families please send an email to Fernando Fernandez at fernando.fernandez@fhnb.com.

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