A group of Texas veterans has proposed that the secretary of the Army rename Fort Hood. Named in honor of Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood, the veterans want to instead designate it as Fort Benavidez in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Special Forces Master Sgt. Roy Benavidez, who was severely wounded in action in Vietnam in 1968.
This suggests an idea that can solve one or two major problems, depending on your perspective.
Problem one is the fact that the vast majority of our military facilities had been named before the beginning of the Vietnam War. As a result, a traditional way to honor military heroes hasn’t been available to veterans of modern wars.
Problem two is that many (mainly Army) facilities are named after Confederate officers. What may have been intended as a gesture of reconciliation after the Civil War can’t hide the fact that the American government named its military facilities after the leaders of an enemy force.*
Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Rucker are among the most important bases in America. Changing their names would be a powerful way to honor heroes of our modern conflicts and give younger generations a stronger connection to troops who served within the last generation or two.
We’re currently honoring a group of men who aren’t even wearing the uniforms of the US Army in the images we’re using to illustrate where the base name originated.
Is it time for a change? Let us know what you think and sound off!
*Note to commenters: The author of this post is named for an ancestor who fought for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. (Yeah, it’s the Civil War and not the “War of Northern Aggression.”)