Killeen's ‘Freedom Walk’ strikes personal note with military families
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More than 1,000 miles from ground zero, a Central Texas community stops to remember the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
In the City of Killeen, which is home to Fort Hood, the largest active duty military post in the U-S Armed Forces, hundreds came out to honor not only first responders, but also service members, as part of an annual freedom walk.
"I was working on vehicles in the motor pool when we got the call that planes hit the World Trade Center, and then after that I was on call to maybe go help,” Staff Sgt. Jennifer Adams-Ward said."Community events like this are important to remind us as Americans what it is that we are fighting for. We are fighting for our freedom. "
It’s a fight that comes at a cost for military families.
"It's difficult enough to have your loved one far away,” widow Cindy Hildner said, “especially with multiple deployments, because you never really know, and the deployment almost starts before they even have left because they spend so much time preparing."
Cindy Hildner’s husband died of natural causes earlier this year while serving in Afghanistan.
"You already have that feeling of loss knowing that they're going to be gone for a long time, and then to lose them, and have them not come home, especially when you're surrounded by people whose husbands are coming home, it makes it extra difficult," she said.
However, through events like Tuesday’s Freedom Walk, it’s a chance to remember lost loved ones while fulfilling America’s promise to ‘never forget.’