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Friday, December 11, 2009

Ft Hood day of healing

Friday, December 11th is going to be a special day at Ft. Hood Tx. The kind folks at the USO along with the MWR and AAFES have put together a great event to facilitate the continued healing that Ft. Hood and its families are still going through. Bloggers, tweeters, people on Facebook can all help. Please read below to learn more and to see what you can do to spread the word.

This Friday, December 11, Fort Hood and the USO – with the support of Fort Hood FMWR and AAFES – is proud to host “Fort Hood Community Strong,” a day for healing, fun and entertainment. Held at Hood Stadium, this event will feature free carnival rides, games, food and top-notch celebrity performers. The biggest gift we can give the community, however, is to honor them with our sincere thanks and support.

Since the November 5 shooting, the USO has stepped up to provide support for the community in any way they can. From grief counseling to the two Mobile USO units providing meals – the USO has been ready to assist the troops, families and command at Fort Hood however needed.

Tomorrow is a day where we are asking everyone to remember to say “thanks” to help continue the healing process. We are asking influential bloggers like you to join us in our cross-web effort to support and honor the troops by dedicating a post thanking the troops and expressing support for their community.

As part of your post, there are a variety of ways you can help us activate the public in supporting the troops.
• Included a link to the Community Strong microsite or directly to the Remembrance Wall that allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to express their gratitude for the military’s service and sacrifice;
• Create a video expressing your support and posting it on the USO YouTube Channel;
• Follow @The_USO on Twitter and Tweet your support with a link to your post with the #communitystrong hashtag;
• Join us on Facebook and express your support there; and/or
• Post the “Fort Hood, Community Strong” badge on your blog’s sidebar.

As a symbol of unity for this campaign, we are asking all participating bloggers to include the following language at the bottom of their post. It includes additional, relevant links for your readers to get involved and support Community Strong.

This post was created as part of the USO’s Community Strong event at Fort Hood –a day for healing, fun and entertainment to uplift the spirits of the Fort Hood community in the wake of the Nov. 5 shooting incident. You can help show your support for Fort Hood and its more than 349,000 military personnel, family members, retirees and civilian employees by visiting the Community Strong website, Tweeting your support with the #CommunityStrong hashtag, leaving comments on the Official USO Blog and donating to the USO’s ongoing efforts to support our troops.

Found the above via Troy (Bouhammers).

There is so much to read on the Ft Hood site. There is this:
"The Great Place" Responds

December 4, 2009

Fort Hood, Texas, the largest military installation in the world, is home to tens of thousands of soldiers and their families, along with the schools and recreational services that make up a vibrant community.

Lovingly referred to as "The Great Place," a shocked community is doing what residents say is their only option: providing as much love and support as they can in the wake of the horrific November 5 shootings.

Robin Crouse, director of USO Fort Hood, began making calls around post to see how the USO could help. While still in lockdown, Crouse called the garrison command and learned that hundreds of troops around post needed water, soft drinks, and snacks. She arranged for the SWAT team to pick up the keys to the USO warehouse and gave them instructions to take whatever was needed. When the lockdown ended at 8 P.M., the USO and the rest of the community swung into action. The USO staff became the focal point for feeding the more than 600 investigators, military police, and soldiers who were working around the dock. Local businesses kept the USO's phone ringing. Texas Road House, Bush's Chicken, Big Hoss BBQ, and others offered discounts and donated meals. Chevrolet helped with a van to ferry food to the site; they also chipped in money for gas.

When USO staffers heard there was a family of an injured soldier that couldn't find a place to stay, they went out and bought towels and comfort items to give them some basics, and to let them know they weren't in this alone.

"It was just the fact that [the USO and the community] were out there so quickly," said U.S. Army Specialist Judge Thomas, who is stationed at Fort Hood and volunteers at the USO in his spare time. "For it being such a sudden thing and everything rushed together, I think it went very smoothly. People just gelled together and helped out." (source)

For many of us, we watched in awe as people across America jumped in and supported our troops. Yes, even outside America some of us asked "what can we do, to honour our heroes?"

USO Fort Hood Locks Down ... and Then Helps Out

December 4, 2009

Robin Crouse, director of USO Fort Hood, received a phone call at 2 p.m. on November 5, telling her to lock down the Center immediately. Someone was shooting soldiers on post. She immediately locked the building and told the 35 soldiers at the Center what was going on.

"At the time I was really nervous because we were only a half-mile from the scene," Crouse said. "It was surreal."

While a palpable tension remained, Crouse and the USO's volunteers helped everyone keep calm during those six hours, at a time when everyone felt helpless. She made calls around base to see how the USO could help.

When the lockdown ended, at 8 p.m., the USO and the rest of the community swung into action.

No request was too big or too small. Families of those affected found a place they could call for information and help with lodging or help. Favorite energy drinks were tracked down and Wal-Mart also donated video games and made food deliveries to the base.

On that terrible day, we all watched as so many heroes stepped up. In the aftermath of that awful day, the whole country - including many support groups - came together as one to offer whatever they could. Our military proved, yet again, what exceptional people they are as they lived "Army Strong".

The Ft Hood site has a Wall of Remembrance where you can leave a message of support for all our troops. Go here to do that, and remind our troops that we cherish and honour them.

I wrote about those who fell that day here and here. Take another look at these short profiles and remember those who served.

We will never forget that day, but I choose to remember that even in the midst of such irrational madness, all that is good and right about America the beautiful shone so brightly. Rather than dwell on the actions of one, I choose to focus on the many heroes of that dark day. Our troops and our citizens proved that America will always stand together to overcome any adversity. It IS the American way.

Today, and every day, keep Ft Hood in your prayers. They are America the beautiful.