GEORGETOWN — The sounds of happy children and curious questions filled the parking lot as troopers from the Ironhorse Brigade positioned and assembled their vehicles for a static display, along with first responders from the local community.
The Wolf Ranch Town Center in Georgetown, Texas held the third annual community relations event Touch-A-Truck on Saturday. This was an opportunity for those residents of Georgetown and surrounding community to meet and examine the equipment of first responders and Soldiers from Fort Hood.
Over 20 troopers from 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment ‘Garryowen,’ and 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment ‘Thunder Horse’ represented the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, for the Touch-A-Truck community relations event.
They brought one M2A3 “Bradley” Fighting Vehicle, one M122 120mm Mortar System and two M1151 up armored Humvees that were placed in a static display at the Wolf Ranch Town Center.
“I think it is important that we give back to the community that supports us and our Families,” Sgt. Samuel Andre, from Troop B, 1-7 Cav., said. “We did several of these events while deployed to Europe, and it’s nice to finally be able to do one at home.”
The significance of this event is that it is the first community relations event on this scale to be conducted since the Ironhorse Brigade returned from its deployment to Europe.
It was also significant because this was the first time first responders and 1st BCT troops had the opportunity to look at each other’s equipment, engage in conversation and complete the circle in the eyes of the community on those who protect and serve, home and abroad.
“It’s good to see the local first responders and have the opportunity to meet them,” said Capt. Steven Bowman, commander of Troop B, 1-7 Cav.
“This is why we do community relation events. To get to meet the community and share our profession with the next generation of service members.”
The Touch-A-Truck event was also at the same place and time as the Georgetown Farmers Market. This increased the number of people who would have attended such an event by thousands more.
The farmers market is a common gathering place for the community to come and sell their homemade products or crafts, but this time there were military and civilian vehicles on display to capture the attention of all who attended.
“Wolf Ranch Town Center was absolutely thrilled to host their third annual Touch-A-Truck event as part of our commitment to local Families,” Jennifer Frith, the marketing director for the Wolf Ranch Town Center, said. “We proudly host events giving the community another thing to do at our shopping center in addition to being the central gathering place for friends and families to shop, dine and spend time together. Having such a big military presence at our event was an honor for Wolf Ranch Town Center and truly brought together the city of Georgetown and surrounding communities.”
In the end, it is estimated that over 5,000 people attended the Touch-A-Truck event in just three short hours. Due to the success of the event, there will be many more community relations events between Ironhorse and the City of Georgetown in the weeks to come.
“We were thrilled at the one of a kind vehicles that were brought out, the amazing Soldiers and all the activities they had set up,” Frith said. “We couldn’t have done the event without them, and they definitely made the event a day to remember for all the children and adults who attended. We are already looking forward to next year.”