More than just free meals: Fort Cavazos' Power Hour Lunch

By Eric Franklin, Fort Cavazos Public AffairsSeptember 7, 2023

Soldiers enjoy lunch at the Fort Cavazos USO during the Power Hour event. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Soldiers enjoy lunch at the Fort Cavazos USO during the Power Hour event. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — The aroma of home-cooked meals wafts through the hallways every weekday at the United Service Organizations at Fort Cavazos, drawing in active-duty Soldiers, National Guard members and Army reservists. The free ‘Power Hour Lunch Program,’ a longstanding tradition, continues to free heartwarming meals, courtesy of the USO in partnership with local businesses and eateries.

Kicking off promptly at noon, the program stretches until 1 p.m. or whenever the food runs out, ensuring no one goes hungry. But the ‘Power Hour’ is a platform of support and community, not just about sustenance.

“Every weekday, except for training and federal holidays, we open our doors to offer a slice of comfort to our service members and their families,” stated Benjamin Griffin, the center operations and program manager for the USO at Fort Cavazos.

What began as a straightforward meal service has since evolved, embracing many activities to enhance attendees’ experience.

“We have different lunches each day and offer different activities,” Griffin excitedly shared. “So, Mondays are our hot dogs and hounds, where we’ll have hot dogs or chili cheese dogs, and we bring in our therapy dogs to comfort the service members.”

Griffin mentioned that service members seeking a taste of home and wanting to know the day’s menu can head to the USO’s official Facebook page or website, which are consistently updated.

Angel Hernandez, center operations supervisor for the USO at Fort Cavazos, leads a spirited game of Bingo during the USO’s daily ‘Power Hour’ lunch event on Tuesday, offering service members a much-needed midday break. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs)
Angel Hernandez, center operations supervisor for the USO at Fort Cavazos, leads a spirited game of Bingo during the USO’s daily ‘Power Hour’ lunch event on Tuesday, offering service members a much-needed midday break. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

He further shared, “USO aims to be a home away from home, offering a homestyle atmosphere where individuals can come and relax.”

It’s more than food that’s offered. Staff Sgt. Fabian Rayna, from the 1st Cavalry Division, illuminated the program’s broader impact.

“I see Soldiers playing ping pong or using video games,” he said. “The interaction with each other truly brings Soldiers together.”

Griffin captures the essence of the program, stating, “Gratitude is one of our core values at the USO. We always strive to express our thanks to the Soldiers who serve our country.”