GATESVILLE — Community members of Gatesville are working together with north Fort Hood units to provide community and a home away from home for the Soldiers stationed there.

Members of the Gatesville community met with representatives from 1st Battalion, 340th Training Support Regiment and 120th Infantry Brigade Dec. 1 to discuss upcoming community events like the 2021 Coryell County Youth Fair and the possibility of having a fish fry in honor of the troops.

Diana Fincher, coordinator at North Fort Hood Ministry, said they have been meeting monthly with members of North Fort Hood since September of 2014.  

“We want to join communities. We want those battalions to live here in Gatesville because they are just five minutes to the south of us,” she said. “(One of) our big interests is to bring them into our community, into our churches, our service organizations, our volunteer projects, and to dine and shop here for their everyday lives.”

They held the meeting at the event center of Texas Station, a business run by Gatesville resident Dean Smith and his family. Fincher said he often reaches out and offers to do what he can for the Soldiers because he proudly supports the military. Fincher wanted to host the meeting at the venue so the unit representatives could see that the event center is a place they can use when larger gatherings are allowed again.

Lt. Col. Thomas Fuller, 120th Inf. Bde, has participated in the meetings for two-and-a-half years and believes that it is important for Soldiers at North Fort Hood to be involved in the community for a number of reasons.

“First, it provides the Soldiers with a sense of belonging and family. In the military we are constantly sent abroad and end up living in places far away from the friends and family we grew up with, and this can lead to some Soldiers feeling like isolated individuals who have no connection to those around them,” he said. “The units’ involvement with the community helps provide a bridge to connect Soldiers with others and provide them that much needed connectivity with others. Further, it allows individuals in the units to discover all the incredible opportunities available in the community: football games, rodeos, firework displays, horse riding, hunting, fish fries and so many more events.”

He personally has benefited through getting involved in the community.

“I have made several close friends in the Gatesville community and have the pleasure

and honor of meeting many more people who I have enjoyed getting to know, probably none more so than David and Diana Fincher, who are constantly looking for ways they can help others, especially our Soldiers,” he stated. “I am also extremely thankful for all the men I’ve gotten to know through Legacy Outfitters and the greater ties to the community they have provided me. I would recommend everyone step out and get involved with one of the groups in this area and build their ties and friendships.”