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Faces of Fort Hood: Ken Cates

Posted at 4:08 PM, Dec 03, 2023

FORT HOOD, Texas — Meet Ken Cates, U.S. Army Veteran and Executive Director and CEO of the Fort Hood Area Habitat For Humanity.

A man that grew up with a military father that inspired him to serve.

”I always watched his example. Then my older brother joined the Army,” said Cates. “So, the best way I was always taught to give back or to serve, was to serve your country first.”

Cates spent 27 years serving his country and that service didn’t end when he took the uniform off.

Like his father, he sets an example for his children to follow.

”I’ve got 7 daughters and all 7 daughters follow,” said Cates. “They know that they’ve got to give back and donate their time to the community as well. So, what better way to show them than after retirement, taking this opportunity to give back to the community as well.”

He does so through Habitat for Humanity, working to build and repair homes for the low to moderate-income families in the Fort Hood area.

”The ones that are working their tail ends off on the day to day, but they can’t afford to get ahead,” said Cates. “They can’t get a traditional loan to get a house, or they can’t qualify for loans to do major repairs on their own homes.”

Being a veteran, Ken makes sure his fellow vets are taken care of by partnering with the Home Builders Institute.

Putting service members transitioning out of the military and into the trade industry to work as they earn their certification.

”That way they have the experience and now they have the certification, and they have the leadership experience from the military to have a very strong resume to go out and become either a general contractor of their own or, a force to be reckoned with when it comes to being a project manager for another builder.” said Cates.

Both in and out of uniform, Ken Cates has dedicated his life to serving his country and his community.

He chose put down roots in Bell County after 27 years in the Army, becoming one of the many Faces of Fort Hood.

Editor's Note: This story originally aired on July 7, 2022.