AUSA NATIONAL NEWS
CHAPTER NEWSLETTER- JULY 2023
Summer has arrived and the high temperatures and dry days are upon us. Hopefully
we will have a few days with rain as the summer progresses because our lakes and lawns need it desperately!! Hard to believe we are at the end of the 2022-2023 year already. Seems like just yesterday that we were planning the Spring events, and now we are quickly preparing for the next year as we continue to do all we can to support our Soldiers, DA Civilians, Retirees, Veterans and their Families throughout the Central Texas area. Since the last newsletter, your Chapter has been very busy and the accomplishments of so many great volunteers are much appreciated and will be highlighted in this newsletter. The next few months will continue to be busy as we start the new AUSA calendar year, so I encourage all of you to see if there is a way to invest in your Chapter – be it your personal time, your talents, or your treasure, as each will ultimately make a difference in the lives of many today and in the future. We are better together so come out and be a part of your Chapter whenever possible.
Below are just a few of the highlights that have occurred during this last quarter. Your Board of Governors and Committee Chairs continue to excel as they plan and execute these events, so please thank them when you get the chance because none of this would happen without their dedicated efforts.
AUSA Golf Scramble – 10 March 2023
On 10 March your AUSA Chapter held its annual CSM Jack E. Hunter Memorial Golf Scramble at the Courses of Clear Creek. It was a jammed pack field with 33 teams, with over half of them filled with Soldiers from Ft Cavazos. III Armored Corps CSM, CSM Cliff Burgoyne, was the guest speaker and he also played. COL Chad Foster, Ft Cavazos Garrison Commander, also provided comments and a sendoff to all the players. Prizes were awarded for several categories, to include Best Dressed, Closest to the Hole on all par 3’s, top 3 team scores, and of course the Most Honest Team (otherwise known as Last Place!!). A total of $37K was raised to help support Soldiers and their Families at Ft Cavazos and in the Central Texas area.
JROTC Competition – 25 March 2023
Each year we have the opportunity to support the Killeen ISD as they host a JROTC Skills Competition on Ft Cavazos. Schools from across Texas come to compete in six different skills, from Drill Team Precision to Color Guard to physical fitness, showcasing their excellence across all elements. Your Central Texas AUSA Chapter provides support by setting up a table with hotdogs, chips and water for all the competitors, their families, and their staff. This year we shared space with recruiters from the local recruiting station and even got a few to become members of our Chapter. Excellence was definitely on display and my thanks to our volunteers who came out to support the next generation of military leaders!
Our Community Salutes Ceremony – 22 May 2023
For the past three years we have partnered with the Central Texas Our Community Salutes Committee to help recognize graduating seniors who have made the decision to enlist in the Armed Forces. This year we supported presentations at 12 schools, thanking each recruit with a coin and certificate from the OCS committee.
Annual Scholarship Luncheon – 5 June 2023
Congratulations to the 32 scholarship recipients. These young men and women exceeded the standard of excellence and we were honored to award them scholarships this year totaling more than $43,000. Scholarships ranged from $5000 to $1000, with Central Texas College and Texas A&M also providing in kind scholarships for students planning to attend their institution. A special thanks to Central Texas College for allowing us to use their Anderson Center for the luncheon and ceremony.
Annual Awards Dinner and General Membership Meeting – 22 June 2023
Each year we wrap up our AUSA calendar with our annual awards dinner and general membership meeting. The intent is to say a special thank you to all who have made the year that much better, while also recognizing specific individuals or organizations that went above and beyond to ensure your Chapter did all it could to accomplish its mission. Included in this year’s dinner was a Vietnam Veteran Pinning where we recognized four heroes who served their country proudly during the Vietnam era. As always we are grateful for the assistance provided by LTGs (R) Taylor and Jones who make the recognition so much more special. We were also blessed to have some of the leadership from Ft Cavazos join us and BG Tom Felty, DCG-M, provided a few comments to thank the Chapter for what we do and also give all an update on IIIAC. As part of the dinner, we thanked the departing BoG members for their tremendous support to the Chapter and Board. My personal thanks to Stan Balcer, Gary Chumley, Chris Diem, Todd Fox, Cynthia Hernandez, Misty James, Debbie Nash King and Jeff Kirk for their 4 years of selfless service. We also thanked the Committee Chairs who make things happen throughout the year and ensure we have the people, funding, and whatever else is needed to do our mission every day. Finally, we recognized the winners of our annual awards. Like so many other organizations there are many deserving of this recognition, but we could only award one for each category. This year’s winners are the following:
King Award – Kevin Mann
Gen Shoemaker Award – Team Fountain (CSMs (R) Terry and Jackeline Fountain)
Hayes-Bufford Award – SFC (R) Ronnie Turner
Roy J. Smith Award – Beronio Wealth Planning
Ron Taylor Award – Larry Phelps
TJ Mills/Bernice Beck Award - Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce
Please be sure to congratulate each of these great award winners, for they truly made a difference this past year.
The next quarter is already upon us and there is lots on the calendar. Please mark
these on your calendar and support any and all if possible.
Greater Killeen MRC/AUSA Luncheon – 19 July; GEN Rainey guest speaker
BoG BiMonthly Meeting – 26 July at Lonestar Conference Center (Sam Adams)
BoG Bi-Monthly Meeting – 27 September at Lonestar Conference Center (Sam Adams) 3rd Annual Car Show – 30 September at the Killeen Events Center
AUSA National Conference – 7-11 October in DC
2nd Annual BBQ Cookoff – 11 November at the Killeen Events Center
As we start the next year, I encourage you to tell the Army Story whenever you can and also the AUSA story. Let others know who we are, what we do, and the importance of being a part of this great organization. And if the opportunity is right, encourage them or their organization to become members as well! My sincere best wishes to everyone for a blessed Summer and thanks for all you do to make us all better.
Be All You Can Be!!!
Ken Cox, Central Texas Chapter President