What Military Bases Have Been Located In the Big Country?
First off, Military Appreciation Month began back in 1999, the brainchild of then-Senator John McCain. Set aside as a time for all Americans to show their appreciation and reflect on the sacrifices made by those in the military, the entire month of May has been designated Military Appreciation Month. Someone recently said to me, "Rudy, you're a military brat - why is Military Appreciation Month in May?"
Well, I'm glad you asked. Many years ago I thought May was chosen because of Memorial Day, but Senator McCain said, "It's more about VE Day (Victory in Europe)." That aside, yes, I am a military brat. Though I was never allowed to serve in this way due to being born with only one arm, I have always wanted to.
LOOK: Some of These Bases Were Once Located Here in Texas
To this day I still wish I could join the military, and at this point in my life, any branch would do. But nonetheless, I resolve to learn more about our military history here in West Texas, including how many military bases have surrounded our city throughout Abilene's history.
Here in the Lone Star State, Texans have a close relationship and a strong bond with our military, military personnel, and veterans who call Texas home. Our state has been home to many military bases throughout history, several of which no longer exist.
Currently, Texas has many military installations, including several sizeable Army and Air Force bases. Our state is also home to one of the Navy's largest aviation training installations, the Kingsville Naval Air Station. These bases have been instrumental in defending Texas and our great country.
Some of the other military installations that have existed in Texas are:
1. Dyess Air Force Base - Dyess AFB is an active-duty Air Force base located on Abilene's west side. The base was established in 1942 as an Abilene Army Air Base, and is now a bomber operations and airlift facility.
2. Camp Barkeley - Barkeley was an Army training base during World War II, about 10 miles southwest of Abilene. When Camp Barkeley was most active, it housed and trained over 50,000 soldiers. One interesting fact about Barkeley is that it was also an officer candidate training school.
3. Abilene Army Airfield - The Abilene Army Airfield was a training base for B-24 bomber crews during World War II. The airfield was located north of Abilene and used for training purposes.
4. Tye Army Airfield - The Tye Army Airfield was a small Army airfield just west of Abilene. This little but extremely active airfield was a training base during World War II.
The Texas Veterans Commission offers a variety of services to our military troops and their families, including but not limited to education, healthcare, and financial assistance. Fellow Texans, take pride in saying thank you to all our military during Military Appreciation Month and every month after that. God bless our military.