Tag Archives: Fort Hood

Today in Texas History – March 28

From the Annals of the Army (sort of) –  In 1958, recently drafted rock and roll star Elvis Presley arrived at Fort Hood for basic training.  He remained stationed at Fort Hood for six months.   Presley, along with his manager and illegal alien Col. Tom Parker, made the decision that Elvis would serve as a regular soldier and not as an entertainer in Special Services.  Parker did not want Presley performing for free and both decided it would be good for image to not receive special treatment.   At Fort Hood, Presley was assigned to Company A of the Third Armored Division’s 1st Medium Tank Battalion and completed basic training by June. He was a pistol sharpshooter, and apparently liked the  “rough and tumble” of the tanks obstacle course.  He was homesick and did not like the training and was constantly worried about his career.

After a short break to record new material in June, Presley returned to Fort Hood to finish his tank training.  Soldiers were allowed to live off-post with family, so Elvis rented a house where he lived with his mother, father, grandmother, and friend Lamar Fike.   This cheered up the star, but in early August, his mother Gladys began to succumb to her alcoholism and use of diet pills. One afternoon, after a heated argument with her husband Vernon, Gladys collapsed from exhaustion. Presley arranged for her and Vernon to return to Memphis by train on August 8. She died in Memphis on August 14.  Elvis was granted emergency leave and was in Memphis when she passed.  He returned to Fort Hood about a week later and shipped out for duty in Germany in mid-September.

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Interstate 14 is Coming (cont.)

The first 25 miles of Interstate 14, or I-14 are nearing completion and will likely be opened near Fort Hood in Killeen before summer.  The first segment is a conversion of US 190 to Interstate condition and status.  The segment runs west from I-35 in Belton is intended to provide direct access to the main gate at Fort Hood in Killeen.

The purported intent of I-14 is to provide improved highway connections between U.S. Army facilities at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Polk and the military deployment ports at Beaumont and Corpus Christi.  I-14 is the result of the 2015 act of Congress created the Central Texas Corridor generally along the US 190 route.   Various groups are pushing for expansion of the project to provide Interstate access  to San Angelo and a connection with I-20 in Midland-Odessa.

Guns Don’t Kill People. People with Guns Kill People.

The Chicago Tribune relates the sad story of T.J. Antell – a concealed carry owner and former Marine – who was killed in Arlington when he attempted to intervene in a domestic dispute with his gun. The alleged shooter, Ricci Bradden, who was stationed at Fort Hood had been involved in an argument with his wife in the parking lot of a Walgreen’s.  Bradden discharged his gun twice striking the ground and hitting his wife in the ankle.  Antell rushed to his truck, retrieved his gun and attempted to stop Bradden from fleeing.  That’s when Bradden exited his vehicle and shot Antell dead. Now there is a dead father of three and a man who will be charged with murder – none of which had to happen.  Red wonders if the gun lobby’s continual rant which spins the compelling fiction that you need a gun at the ready at all times so that you can save yourself or, even better, be a real-life hero when the time comes had any part in this tragic chain of events.