Harker Heights thank you
A special plaque is presented to a representative of the Harker Heights Fire Department during a luncheon at Fort Hood, Texas, June 15, which honored area first responders for their assistance in tackling a 33,000-acre wild fire in late March. (Photo Credit: Blair Dupre, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - Representatives of local fire departments were treated to lunch and were thanked by Fort Hood leaders, June 15, at the Lone Star Conference Center here for their assistance with the post’s largest wildfire earlier this year.

What are now known as the Crittenburg and Flat fires began on March 27 after a sudden increase in wind and drop in humidity caused a small training range fire to spread. The blaze lasted through April 1, leaving 33,000 acres of land scorched. In all, 29 agencies rallied with Fort Hood to help put an end to the large inferno.

Col. John Curry, 89th Military Police Brigade commander, was the first to welcome the department representatives at the luncheon.

“I’ve been a first responder for 23 years. I am familiar with the brotherhood and sisterhood of first responders,” he said. “How, whenever there’s something going on and it exceeds one department or agency’s ability to contain and resolve, folks just show up-ready to help, ready to lock arms, link in and go wherever.”

He was amazed watching all of the local, state and federal agencies partner with Fort Hood when there was a need.

“We would have not, collectively, been able to refer to that complex fire as a positive win for Central Texas had we not enjoyed the incredible partnerships with all the agencies that rushed in to help Fort Hood in its time of need,” he said.

Col. Chad R. Foster, commander U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood, also expressed his gratitude for their help during the historic fire.

“There’s nothing we can do to repay you for what you’ve done for us and I’m sure we’re going to ask you to do again,” he said. “There’s a reason why Central Texas is the special place that it is. I’ve been stationed at a lot of different locations in my 24 years in the Army. No other installation enjoys the level of partnership, support, collaboration and goodwill from the community. There’s nothing like what we have and you are all a part of that. I can’t thank you enough for it.”

After eating lunch each of the departments were awarded a special plaque commemorating their service to the Great Place.

“We couldn’t have done this without you guys,” said Fort Hood Fire Chief Andrew Lima. “Every time I call on you guys, you guys are always there and I really appreciate it. You guys do a great job.”