After the murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillen, Fort Hood has been working to change a lot of things.
Included in that change is community engagement, which was on full display Thursday, July 29, as the post hosted a small group to spend the day at Fort Hood.
Some that have been stationed at Fort Hood for decades, were able to see this change as well.
"I have seen this base evolve since the early 90s to right now. It is more family-oriented and the FRG is more involved in the community,” said Willie Keller, Retired Army Veteran.
For some in the group, this was about getting to see things like the horse detachment and service dogs in action. But for members of a D.C based think tank, it was all about learning more about Fort Hood and seeing the progress.
"I am happy to see how fast it has progressed," said Caroline Rose, Senior Analyst and Program Head at Newlines Institute. "I will say that is something that surprised me, to see that all these changes are being implemented at a very rapid pace.”
The pace of the changes did have some worried ... until they had a chance to ask questions such as, 'Are these changes affecting mission readiness?
The answer did not disappoint them.
"They’re still going, they’re still on schedule," said Rose. "So, the fact that they are able to implement these policies, these reforms, inside the base but also keep up our operational edge. I think that that is really impressive.”
For those who served here in the past, today gave them a chance to see a side of Fort Hood and the soldiers that you don’t normally get to see.
"You're seeing the soldiers smiling, you're seeing the culinary specialists at the dining facility take pride in their culinary skills, providing plates for you and good customer service. You don’t see that on the news or any social media or anything,” said Keller.
The biggest takeaway is that Thursday's visitors were able to hear from soldiers themselves - who said they can see and feel the changes happening here on the post.