Fort Hood boot memorial retains support of Five Hills royalty

Special to Leader-Press 

More than 7,000 boots line the streets surrounding III Corps Headquarters on Fort Hood. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines have lost their lives during the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty pledged for the third consecutive year to ensure that these heroes are honored and remembered as the country celebrates its independence. 
Clad in event shirts advertising the Fort Hood Remembrance 5K and Walk, the titleholders joined an estimated 500 participants who made their way through the boot-lined route on Saturday, stopping to reminisce, admire and pray for the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the freedoms Americans enjoy.
Pair by pair, the boots were gently gathered and laid in the back of military trucks and moved to the III Corps parade field following the walk/run. Single boots were then placed on the parade field by the titleholders who spaced them equally apart, adding American flags inside each boot and ensuring the photos of service members the boots represented were straight and faced forward. 
The process served as an excellent review for the hours of service the royalty who have agreed to work in two-hour shifts through July 9 to maintain the memorial for public viewing. 
The father of Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts serves in the First Cavalry Division, Headquarters Battalion. For her, this service opportunity is difficult. 
“It was hard to see family members gathered around the boots of someone they lost, especially little kids like me whose father or mother didn’t come home,” the 11-year old said. “It is humbling to see all the boots of so many who have done so much for the country we live in.”
The titleholders serve as volunteers to help man the boot memorial 24-hours a day through Sunday, July 9. Their responsibility is to ensure all of the boots remain upright with flags inside and the name tags turned outward. They also provide information to guests and help them locate the combat boots of their loved ones within the display.
Miss Five Hills Emerald Bentley’s husband also serves is the 1st Cavalry Division. 
“Seeing tangible evidence of the number of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice really put it all into perspective,” Bentley said. “My greatest wish is that the community remembers that men and women are still fighting for our freedoms and that lives are still being lost. We cannot forget that this is still happening today.”
Volunteers interested in serving at the Fort Hood Boot Memorial should contact Diane Williams at (254) 287-2327 or

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