News: Soldiers honored with luncheon by Temple Chamber
Story by Capt. Monika Comeaux
Over 150 Fort Hood Soldiers, amongst them several Providers, had barbecue lunch as a courtesy of the Temple Chamber of Commerce Sept. 17 at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center in Temple, Texas.
The chamber’s Military Appreciation Luncheon takes place annually; the event also serves as the kick-off for the chamber’s military toy drive for the holidays.
“I think you agree with me that we have the greatest military force on Earth, all volunteer,” said Jim Granfor, the chairman of the Temple Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, in his opening remarks. Granfor complemented all services for their contributions, and made sure that the audience honored veterans and those who currently serve with several rounds of applause.
There is a longstanding history and cooperation between the city of Temple and soldiers from the 1st MED Brigade and 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., the commander of the 13th SC(E) and the events keynote speaker. “The most important part of this event is to have the opportunity to talk with each other,” said LeMasters, and challenged participants to talk to the Soldiers in the audience and ask them a couple of questions about their background and the Army, if they haven’t already done so. “It’s all about getting to know you and getting to know us.”
“These soldiers here today represent not only the Army, but the future of our great nation…our all volunteer Army is an example for other Nations,” LeMasters added. He then went into talking about budget cuts, the new Defense Strategy Guidance and force restructuring. “Let me assure you, that the senior leaders of our Army are looking at these challenges.” LeMasters expressed his confidence that leaders at high levels will make the best decisions for the future of the forces.
First Lt. Sherry Klander, an operations officer from the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Sustainment Brigade said her unit put out a memorandum to let the Soldiers know about the event. “It was great; it was an awesome experience to see community support.” In her civilian life she is a photographer in Temple, and owns her own business photographing “anything from babies to pets to weddings.” Klander said this was the first time she attended the military appreciation luncheon and thought it would be great to see other community events like a career fair for a meet and greet for Soldiers.