The quarterly Hood Heroes Award Ceremony and Luncheon hosted at Club Hood, Tuesday, had more than 350 people in attendance and awarded more than 65 organizations and personnel.
Maj. Gen. Gerald Strickland, III Corps deputy commanding general for Support (U.K.), was the keynote speaker during the event, and said the event was celebrating all the people who continue on, no matter how tough the fight.
“But to be the best it’s not just about the man or women who stands in the arena with sweat stinging their eyes, and their muscles screaming for relief,” Strickland said. “It is everybody who got them there and who will pick them up when they return – it’s the people who built the foundation. So today we are celebrating all of those people – all of you who are those people.”
The awards fell under three different categories – Hood Hero, volunteer and installation.
Receiving an installation award, the Excellence in Education Unit of the Quarter Award, was earned by the 2nd Intelligence Weapons Team, Company B, 15th Military Intelligence Battalion.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Curatella said that nine out of 16 “Night Hawkes” were enrolled in college while deployed to Africa.
“We had (about) 60 percent of our unit enrolled in college classes while we were deployed, that resulted in two bachelor’s degrees and an associate’s degree,” Curatella said. “With increased education, it allows them to better themselves and be ready for that challenge,” Curatella said.
Sharing his pride for his unit, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Wachtendor, said there is no better time than now to continue one’s education. He said he is amazed that individual Soldier accomplishments have become a unit accomplishment.
“I’d say that it’s definitely an accomplishment, having that many people able to get into school at one time and then complete the degree is a pretty amazing accomplishment in itself,” Wachtendor said, “Then, for Fort Hood to take the time to recognize us, is an outstanding thing.”
Receiving a Volunteer of the Quarter Award, for his selfless service to over 270 children enrolled in Vacation Bible School at Comanche Chapel June 3-June 7, was Pfc. Joel Lim, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Field Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade. Lim contributed countless hours to the success of VBS.
“I was a character in the drama team and I helped put on a show for the kids,” Lim said. “Honestly, it wasn’t what was on stage, but just seeing their reactions, them coming up to me, hugging me, joking with me, and how they really got into the character, that was my favorite thing.”
Lim, who is currently part of the ministry team, shared that it felt good to be recognized, but he enjoys volunteering at the chapel for several important reasons.
“Vacation Bible School is close to my heart, because I use to attend it,” Lim said, “but just overall the purpose to serve God was the main factor in it.”
Curatella said he believes recognizing personnel for their outstanding service is wonderful.
“It was a great event to recognize all the outstanding personnel over the installation,” Curatella said. “It’s great to take time away from training to really recognize everyone’s accomplishments.”
The next quarterly Hood Heroes Award Ceremony and Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 5 at Club Hood.