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Before we get started let’s look at Killeen first. Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. It is a "principal city" of the Killeen Temple Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood, and as such its economy is heavily dependent on the post and the soldiers (and their families) stationed there.
Until the 1940s Killeen remained a relatively small and isolated farm trade center, but this changed drastically after 1942, when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was created as a military training post to meet the demands of the Second World War.
Laborers, construction workers, contractors, soldiers, and their families moved into the area by the thousands, and Killeen became a military boomtown. The opening of Camp Hood also radically altered the nature of the local economy, since the sprawling new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area.
Killeen's population is now around 100,000, making the greater Killeen area one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. A large number of military personnel from Killeen have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of April 2008, over 400 of its soldiers have died in the two wars.
Killeen's main newspaper is the Killeen Daily Herald, which has been publishing under different formats since 1890. The paper was one of four owned by the legendary Texas publisher Frank W. Mayborn, whose wife remains its editor and publisher.
The Herald also publishes the Fort Hood Herald, an independent publication in the Fort Hood area, not authorized by Fort Hood Public Affairs and the Cove Herald for the residents of Copperas Cove which is a weekly paper. The official paper of Ft. Hood, however, is The Fort Hood Sentinel, an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army that is editorially independent of the U.S. government and military.
Killeen also has a well established music scene with varying genres. Rapper Scarface from Houston has signed local group Green City to his label with the members of the group also enjoying varying levels of success, and Downsiid (a rap/rock/soul hybrid) are currently enjoying national tours and Bodog Battle of the Band contests.
Killeen is also home to Vive Les Arts Theatre, a full-time arts organization which produces several Main Stage and Children's Theatre shows each year.
This community theatre relies on local talent and contributions to produce its high-quality productions. Recent shows include the long-running Broadway hit Cats, Ain't Misbehavin' (a tribute to the songs of Fats Waller) and All Shook Up (a jukebox musical featuring the songs of Elvis Presley) Visit vlatheatre.com for information about auditions, classes and workshops, upcoming shows and more. [Next]
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