THIS IS ARMY COUNTRY
In 1882 the Santa Fe railroad roared through Killeen, transforming the farming community into a shipping point for cotton and other agricultural products. Early area residents were Anglo and Protestant but today, thanks to Fort Hood, a diverse population speaks 40 languages, and festivals celebrating Korean, Indian, Caribbean and Filipino heritage are part of local culture.
The demographic shift began in 1942 when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was established as a training base to meet the demands of World War II. Construction workers, soldiers and their families flooded the area and new businesses sprung up to serve their needs. Encompassing 340 square miles, Fort Hood is the largest active-duty armored military base in the U.S., with two museums and history to share. The 1st Cavalry Division Museum traces the division’s formation in 1921; its conversion from horseback to helicopters before the Vietnam conflict, and its current role as an armored cavalry division. The Fourth Infantry Division Museum explores the division’s formation during World War I, and its role in World War II including the landing at Utah Beach on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. In 2003 the Fourth Infantry Division captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq.