Ft. Hood’s Influence on Neighbors Hard to Pinpoint
With 50,000 or more soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and a multi-billion-dollar economic impact, the post’s influence on surrounding communities is undeniable.
In recent years, the installation’s reach has extended beyond its closest neighbors — including Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights — to surrounding communities such as Belton, Florence, Gatesville, Salado and Temple. The post’s Partnership Program and the Association of the U.S. Army’s Adopt-A-Fort Hood-Unit program likely have played a role in the installation’s spreading connections.
Still, local planning officials are finding it difficult to quantify the stimulus Hood provides, reported the Killeen Daily Herald. Available data reveals that settlement patterns among Hood soldiers and families have remained stable over the past eight years, with the vast majority living within 10 miles of the installation.