FT Hood Trip – April 11-14, 2002




Five days after returning from a 3-week Department of Defense tour to visit US military personnel
in Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, twelve members of Cheerleaders of America
boarded a flight in route to Austin, TX.  Austin is about 1-½ hours from Killeen, the home of FT
Hood Army Post.

The most wonderful group of soldiers that made us feel very much at home met us at the airport.  
After introductions, we proceeded to baggage claim, where the troops found us to have brought more
luggage than I think they had ever seen before.
With all the luggage in a cargo van and the cheerleaders on a bus, we proceeded toward our
destination.  

We made an on schedule arrival at the Post which enabled us to join some of the troops for dinner at
the dining facility.  This was great for we had an opportunity to meet many soldiers and visit with
them to find out what they do.  Some of them were new to FT Hood having just arrived the
previous week, while others had been there for many months, and another group was on standby to
deploy.  They all had some interesting stories to tell and it was very evident that they were all
proud to be Americans.

The next morning our great group of soldiers picked us up at our housing residence again. Off to the
theater to meet some of the most wonderful children who would be performing in our show with us
later in the day.  After about an hour, the children knew an entire routine, inclusive of an entrance
and exit, and a USA chant for the finale.  Little did they know at the time that they would be the
stars of the show!

We were then off for a tour of the Post.   It is our understanding that FT Hood is one of the largest
military installations in the US and expands across approximately 200 square miles.  We visited
some of the more remote security checkpoints of the Post to take photographs and sign autographs
for the troops on duty.  

Our final tour stop was the Melvin L. Brown Memorial.  It was erected and dedicated on June 15,
2001 at FT Hood Texas, to memorialize Private First Class Melvin L. Brown for duty above and
beyond during the Korean War.  He was the first Soldier to receive the
Medal of Honor in the 1st Cavalry Division during that war.  He was assigned to the 8th Engineer
Battalion.  An incredible feeling came over us as we stood and read the scrip on the memorial.  We
could not help but think about all of the brave individuals who have fought for our freedom and
lost their lives defending our great country.

Then it was show time.  We proceeded to do an autograph session at the PX and then were escorted
to the theater for our show.  The audience was most appreciative and we thoroughly enjoyed
spending our time performing that afternoon.

Exhausted from the long day, we went back to our housing to rest and clean up before dinner.  Then
it was a nice relaxing dinner and more time to visit with the troops.  This is always our favorite part
of our trips.  


Five days after returning from a 3-week Department of Defense tour to visit US military personnel
in Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, twelve members of Cheerleaders of America
boarded a flight in route to Austin, TX.  Austin is about 1-½ hours from Killeen, the home of FT
Hood Army Post.

The most wonderful group of soldiers that made us feel very much at home met us at the airport.  
After introductions, we proceeded to baggage claim, where the troops found us to have brought more
luggage than I think they had ever seen before.
With all the luggage in a cargo van and the cheerleaders on a bus, we proceeded toward our
destination.  

We made an on schedule arrival at the Post which enabled us to join some of the troops for dinner at
the dining facility.  This was great for we had an opportunity to meet many soldiers and visit with
them to find out what they do.  Some of them were new to FT Hood having just arrived the
previous week, while others had been there for many months, and another group was on standby to
deploy.  They all had some interesting stories to tell and it was very evident that they were all
proud to be Americans.

The next morning our great group of soldiers picked us up at our housing residence again. Off to the
theater to meet some of the most wonderful children who would be performing in our show with us
later in the day.  After about an hour, the children knew an entire routine, inclusive of an entrance
and exit, and a USA chant for the finale.  Little did they know at the time that they would be the
stars of the show!

We were then off for a tour of the Post.   It is our understanding that FT Hood is one of the largest
military installations in the US and expands across approximately 200 square miles.  We visited
some of the more remote security checkpoints of the Post to take photographs and sign autographs
for the troops on duty.  

Our final tour stop was the Melvin L. Brown Memorial.  It was erected and dedicated on June 15,
2001 at FT Hood Texas, to memorialize Private First Class Melvin L. Brown for duty above and
beyond during the Korean War.  He was the first Soldier to receive the
Medal of Honor in the 1st Cavalry Division during that war.  He was assigned to the 8th Engineer
Battalion.  An incredible feeling came over us as we stood and read the script on the memorial.  We
could not help but think about all of the brave individuals who have fought for our freedom and
lost their lives defending our great country.

Then it was show time.  We proceeded to do an autograph session at the PX and then were escorted
to the theater for our show.  The audience was most appreciative and we thoroughly enjoyed
spending our time performing that afternoon.

Exhausted from the long day, we went back to our housing to rest and clean up before dinner.  Then
it was a nice relaxing dinner and more time to visit with the troops.  This is always our favorite part
of our trips.