13th SC(E) Soldiers tour Temple

Story and photos by Maj. Raul E. Marquez
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers from the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) were hosted by the Temple Chamber of Commerce during a tour of the city’s historical and industrial areas April 29.

Over 130 Soldiers, family members and officers, including Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general, 13th SC(E), loaded busses to travel and experience the living, shopping, dining and employment opportunities the city of Temple has to offer its military members.  

This full day of discovery started and ended at the Azalee Marshall Cultural Activities Center, one of the cultural hubs in the city of Temple, where the Soldiers met the tour organizers.

“With its gallery walls filled with arts and crafts by Temple students, the Cultural Activities Center was the most appropriate place for our Soldiers to begin the tour of this magnificent city,” said Col. Carolyn Carroll, 13th SC(E) Chief of Staff.

Ken Higdon, Temple Chamber of Commerce president, Jim Granfor, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee and the Temple mayor, Mr. Bill Jones welcomed the touring Soldiers and thanked them for their service to our nation while other staff members served breakfast, which was donated by local business members.

The tour took the Soldiers through the Historic District to view some early century homes that were owned by some of the most prominent citizens of this railroad town as described by the tour guides, and allowed for a glance at other historic buildings and shopping areas within the city.

Mr. Neil Coker, the director of the Clinical Simulation Facility at Temple College guided the Soldiers through the facilities, which, as briefed by Coker, it is a state of the art facility that could also serve as a fully operational hospital in case of a national disaster.

The Soldiers enjoyed a buffet-style lunch at the Hilton Garden Inn provided and served by Mr. Eyal Kaczur, the hotel’s general manager, Mrs. Marilyn Janes, the director of sales, and the hotel staff in their grand ballroom.

According to Kaczur, who is a member of the AUSA Adopt-A-Unit program and a supporter of Fort Hood’s military community, once he heard the Military Affairs Committee was planning the tour of Temple, he volunteered to donate lunch for all the Soldiers.

The tour concluded with visits to the Texas Bioscience Institute and other local industries like Wilson Art and ACER.

 “This was an eye-opening tour for me,” said Master Sgt. Kimberly Bergman, 13th SC(E) Senior Career Counselor. “When you are assigned to Ft. Hood, most Soldiers tend to gravitate around the base and the Killeen area, but now that I know what Temple has to offer, I will definitely get out to see more of the city.” 

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Sgt. David McGregor, an HHC 13th SC(E) Soldier and Mrs. Seleese Thompson, a Temple Chamber of Commerce member and business owner, interact with one of the multiple patience simulators available to students at the Temple College Clinical Simulation Center April 29. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Raul E. Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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Mr. Eyal Kaczur, general manager at the Hilton Garden Inn, and Mrs. Marilyn Janes, director of sales, serve lunch to 13th SC(E) Soldiers. The Hilton Garden Inn of Temple donated lunch for over 130 Soldiers touring the city April 29. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Raul E. Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)

 

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13th SC(E) Soldiers and family members fill a bus chartered to drive them around the city of Temple. The Temple Chamber of Commerce hosted the Soldiers during a full day of discovery to highlight what the command's sister city has to offer April 29. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Raul E. Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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13th SC(E) Soldiers spend some time roaming through the Temple's Azalee Marshall Cultural Activities Center galleries plastered with arts and crafts by Temple students during the Tour of Temple April 29 sponsored by the Temple Chamber of Commerce. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Raul E. Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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13th SC(E) Soldiers tour through the Temple Historic District to view some early 20th century homes that were owned by some of the most prominent citizens of this railroad town. The Temple Chamber of Commerce hosted the Soldiers during a full day of discovery to highlight what the command's sister city has to offer April 29. (U.S. Army Photo by Maj. Raul E. Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)