Is your family on the way to Fort Hood Texas? Doing a bit of anticipatory research on where the Army might be sending your family next?
Our contributor for this weeks post in the Duty Station Spotlight series is from
Rachel B of MilSO Minute She and her husband have been stationed at Fort Hood since August 2015.
THE CONTENTS | In a hurry? Click to jump to the section that interests you most.
What first ran through your head when you found out you were moving to Fort Hood?
Panic! Natively from New Hampshire, getting sent to Texas was like being sent to a foreign country! At the initial time my husband PCSed as a geobachelor as I finished my degree and I was disappointed we would be so far from each other, making visits few and far between.
This panic seems to be a common first reaction- hah!
Now that you have been living there for 4 years do you still have the same impression of Fort Hood?
I actually enjoy living in Texas quite a bit. I love the weather and as my first experience living in a military town, I have been blessed with amazing coworkers and friends! I still dislike that it’s so far from home as we often miss important moments (like the birth of our first nephew) and holidays, but it could always be worse!
What did you do to prepare for moving to the duty station?
I definitely was mostly concerned with researching the neighborhoods, crime rates, safety ratings, etc. As you can probably tell, that’s what worries me most because a lot of times we wives are left at home alone! Additionally I used social media to connect with families that were already stationed here to get their advice, make connections, and get any must-know info.
Do you live on base, own a home or rent elsewhere?
We rent a duplex here. The market is definitely tailored for military families to rent. There is no shortage of houses so finding one was easy. However, the neighborhoods are tricky. I would highly recommend Harker Heights, Nolanville, or Belton as alternative place to live, especially if you have children.
Is Fort Hood easy to get to?
Fort Hood is definitely easy to get to! The surrounding cities are the best – high crime – but they’re easy to navigate. We live off post and I found it difficult to live alone while my husband was deployed twice. If we could pick a place to live over again, I wouldn’t choose Killeen.
FORT HOOD SPOTLIGHT MAPEach of the locations around Fort Hood described below have been plotted on this google map. You can use the filters below to show only the locations you are interested in or open in google maps to save for later!
What is your favorite spot to grab a coffee at this duty station?
It’s a classic Starbucks atmosphere here and really the only place I go! I enjoy the laid back atmosphere as a place to connect with other military spouses and friends.
Is brunch a big deal around the duty station’s town? If so, where is your favorite spot and what do you order off the menu?
Our favorite dish at each:
Jimmy’s Egg – any of their specialty skillets
Meggs – Cinnamon roll french toast or chicken & waffles
The Monument – they have an amazing selection of eggs Benedict!
What is your go to place to grab dessert?
Nothing Bundt Cakes has super moist, delicious Bundt cakes (including minis) that my husband and I splurge on once in a while!
DATE NIGHT EATS
When you managed to align schedules to go out for a date with your husband, where are you headed?
My hubby and I love Backporch Drafthouse in Temple. They have a great selection of on-tap beers and custom cocktails. We love trying something new every time we go on! They typically have live music, their food is delicious, and there’s always sports on their TVs. It’s a fun laid-back atmosphere to enjoy some time together.
TO DO AROUND TOWN
Where is your favorite place to work up a sweat?
I love at-home workouts! Again, I’m all about feeling safe and for me that doesn’t include going to a gym by myself. I use a virtual gym that is like the Netflix of fitness with over 700 workouts to choose from! I’ve had amazing results from sticking to these programs.
Are there any nearby outdoor recreation areas you like to visit?
Dana Peak Park and Chalk Ridge Falls are excellent places to visit. DPP is a campground on Stillhouse Lake that has BBQ pits, beaches, campsites, Nature tails, kayaking, etc. It’s a great place for the whole family (ever our furbabies!). CRF is an easy hiking spot with waterfalls that is fun to explore and or soak in some sun!
If your family had to dream up the perfect outing together in your area, where are you headed?
Port Aransas TX which is about 4 hours away on the coast! It’s absolutely gorgeous and the cutest little town. My husband and I like to stay at an Airbnb there for a relaxing weekend getaway! (And it’s another place we bring our fur babies).
Where are you headed for of spoiling yourself?
Shelley’s Day Spa and Salon is a perfect place to pamper! They have a range of services including hair care, nail care, facials, massages, etc. It’s a little on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for and it’s one of the only gems in Killeen.
Have you been stationed at Fort Hood? We would love to hear about your favorites around town! Let us know your experience stationed here in the comments below!
Thank you all for your feedback and additions for where to go! Based on your feedback I have added:
- Magnolia Market, Waco – Chip + Joanna Gaines have made their dream a reality. There really is something for everyone at the Silos.
- Austin Wineries- Just an hour away in Austin are some amazing wineries. Perfect for a day trip!
Rachel B is a virtual health and fitness coach whose passion is to help other women find balance in their daily lives and feel confident in their own skin. She loves connecting with women from all over the world, other military spouses especially, and building an uplifting community for them to succeed! Her blog, MilSO Minute, is an inside look of daily military life and how I manage to work two jobs through all the ups and downs of my husband’s military career. You can connect with Rachel on Instagram.