FORT HOOD-The city council members stoked the fires of anxiety, tossing a few playful jibes at the Mayor of Round Rock as he put on the protective bite suit just before participating in a military working dog demonstration Nov. 28 during an installation tour.
"Be sure to leave your hands tucked in Alan, the dog might get them," said a voice from the onlookers. A few nervous chuckles followed, but the group quickly quieted as the dog came out.
Mayor Alan McGraw and a group of Round Rock city council members were hosted by members of the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade during a tour that allowed the city leaders a glimpse of military life. The tour included a brief history lesson, a military working dog demonstration and a hands-on demonstration of the Electronic Skills Trainer.
Traveling by bus from location to location, city council members asked questions about equipment, quarters and aviation displays, but some were startled by the size of Fort Hood.
"When you picture a military base, you think of a few little buildings, but it's not. Fort Hood is like its own little city," said Laurie Hadley, assistant city manager. "It's huge."
An excitement could be seen in the faces of the group as they took up an M4 Carbine, M2 .50 caliber machine gun and even 9mm pistols. George White, A Vietnam veteran, was all smiles as he took a stance behind the machine gun.
"I can't believe the sophistication of this training that Soldiers get today," said White before unloading a digital barrage on a group of crazed, charging turkeys projected on the screen.
Alan McGraw quietly took it all in. Rolling up his sleeve, he showed off the battle scars of bruises won during his participation in the military working dog demonstration.
"That dog is strong," said McGraw as he pointed to the bluest spot of his arm. "You can feel it right there."