TEMPLE, Texas — Selfless service, a core Army value that is instilled in Soldiers from the minute they enter basic training and a theme that is heard at a constant beat throughout the career of service members, doesn’t end after military service. Rep. John Carter (TX-31) was present to recognize 13 veterans from the Central Texas community for their dedication and continued selfless service during a ceremony awarding the Congressional Veteran Commendation Oct. 7 at Temple College.
“These heroes wore the uniform of our nation with pride and honor, while serving our country during challenging periods,” said Brig. Gen. William A. Ryan III, commander of 1st Army Division West and keynote speaker for the ceremony. “Following their military service, those we celebrate today put on the uniform of their community and continued to serve their fellow citizens in a different way; serving and leading in influential and important positions, resulting in stronger more resilient communities all while inspiring countless others to public service through their example.”
City of Killeen Mayor and 2023 Congressional Veteran Commendation recipient Debbie Nash-King shared that she truly enjoys serving the Central Texas community, though her inspiration for service came long before the Army.
“What inspires me most was growing up watching my grandmother serve in our community,” she said. “In my neighborhood we didn’t have things like sidewalks, and she fought for things like that. She was always an advocate. So, it was instilled in me through her, to serve others above self.”
As it turned out, service in the military only ignited a fire to emulate the example set by her grandmother.
Nash-King continued, “So, when I left military service, I was now equipped with these leadership skills, and the skills to work as a team and to solve problems and be solution oriented. Serving my community is just a part of who I am.”
Smiles and chests swelled with pride were a consistent sight as Carter presented awards. Each citation highlighted the continued mission these veterans embarked upon on behalf of the greater good not only for the veterans, active-duty service members and their families, but for the entire Central Texas community.
“Receiving a recognition like this means a lot,” said retired Sgt. 1st Class Steven Moore, chief of community relations for U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Cavazos Public Affairs Office and a 2023 Congressional Veteran Commendation recipient. “It means that my service and work is not in vain. It shows me that people, not only in our communities but at the highest levels, appreciate the efforts not only I but all these wonderful people put in day in and day out. No matter how big or small the service, it has effect, it is noticed and it is being recognized.”
For Nash-King, receiving the honor held something a bit more personal.
“Receiving this commendation is a bit emotional for me. My late husband was a recipient of this commendation,” she said. “To be a part of that legacy and be the face and representative for the city of Killeen and the community as a woman vetaran with my own story and to be found worthy of this prestigious recognition by Congressman Carter and the people of this community, it is a tremendous honor.”
“And this is why we’re here,” Carter said in closing, “to honor the service after service. It is what is instilled in the thought process of our warriors. You never stop serving.”