Another “Battle Buddy” Reunion and a Trip Down Memory Lane (Stephenville, TX)

Better late than never 🙂 … we’ve been on the move so I got behind again on the posts:

When I last posted about our visit to the Fort Hood area, we had already moved to the city park in Stephenville, TX on Wednesday.  We drove the ~100 miles from Ft Hood to here because another old Army Warrant Officer friend and former Iraq “battle buddy” retired in nearby Comanche and bought a 30 acre ranch near Lake Proctor.   We wanted to set our destination to one of the Corps of Engineer (CoE) campgrounds around Lake Proctor but found out from my friend Mike Williams that the campgrounds were closed due to recent heavy rains and subsequent flooding.  Of course, we could have stayed at my friend’s ranch as well, but his long entrance road was rather narrow with lots of low overhanging trees that prevented us from moochdocking 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 12.55.30 AM

The city park in Stephenville (←link) was another great Texas find! The park was huge and beautifully landscaped with a creek running through the middle.  It has lots of paved trails, various ball fields, and even a swimming pool.  We had to drive over to the Recreation Center to pay for our RV site but they were very easy-going and said to just come back and pay when we’re ready to leave.   We ended up paying $30 for two nights when we left Friday morning after touring the area and visiting my Army buddy. 

Stephenville city park RV sites.
Stephenville city park RV sites.
Stephenville city park.
Stephenville city park. Red headed ducks?
Stephenville city park. Turtles in the creek.
Stephenville city park.
Image 2
Downtown Stephenville.

We spent most of the day Thursday, before we went to visit my Army buddy, driving around in nearby Eastland and Gorman to check out a couple places I lived for a short time (1-2 yrs)when I was in elementary school.  I was pretty young and don’t remember much, but I could still recognize a couple of the houses we lived in and the school I went to.  Here’s some pics (below) that won’t mean much to most of my readers but I think my Mom and 3 younger brothers might appreciate them:


Downtown Eastland, TX city hall/courthouse.
Downtown Eastland, TX.
Old house in Eastland, TX that I lived in as a youngster for a short while before we moved to a small farm near Carbon, TX.
Eastland City Park located on top of a hill in the middle of town..  The park has a playground, swimming pool, and senior center building as well.
The Boy Scout hut in Eastland city park that I remember going to as a kid.
Old farm house near Carbon, TX that I spent a short time at as a kid.

We made it back from our little trip down memory lane in time to meet my buddy Mike when he got off work in Stephenville.  Mike works at Tarleton State University now and commutes from his ranch near Comanche, TX.  He stopped by the RV park to pick us up and we followed him in the Silverado to his beautiful ranch by Lake Proctor.

The Williams Ranch.
CW4 (Ret) Michael Williams and CW4 (Ret) David Hobden inside the Williams home.

Mike’s wife Christy made us a wonderful meal (Thanks again Christy!) and then we got the grand tour of the ranch.


Once again, I have to say how lucky I feel to be able to travel around and catch up with old friends.  Especially good friends like Mike & Christy.  I was stationed in Katterbach, GE with Mike from 2003 – 2005 and we deployed twice together during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom II.  We lived together in warehouses on the docks and in an old factory during OIF and then spent a year together in a tent during OIF II.  Needless to say, I think we got pretty close and built a life-long friendship that I value greatly.  And of course, this gives me the opportunity to share some more military pics…  I dug up these old photos (below).

2003 02 21 DSCF1159
Officers of 601st Spt Bn, 1st ID n Katterbach, GE ready to deploy to OIF.  Mike is center left.
2003 03 05 DSCF1268
Mike and I in a warehouse on the docks in Iskenderun, Turkey while we downloaded our vehicles and equipment from the ships during OIF.
2004 07 09 100_0029
(L to R) CW2 Henke, Gen Mundt, CW3 Williams, and CW4 Hobden in Tikrit, Iraq during OIF II.

And I had to include this one (below) of Mike with CSM Guy Niles… remember CSM Niles from my previous post?   It sure was great seeing these guys again 🙂

2004 03 06 DSCF4267
CW3 Williams and CSM Niles in Tikrit, Iraq.
2004 11 27 IMG_0837
CW4 Hobden, CW3 Williams, and CW2 Henke in Kuwait. Henke used to live in the Ft Hood area but recently moved to Pennsylvania so I didn’t get to see him this time 🙁
2004 03 01 DSCF4122
The Warrant Officers of 601st Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division in Kuwait staging area during OIF II. (L to R) CW4 Hobden: Direct Support Automotive Maintenance Tech, CW2 Henke: Battalion Motor Officer, and CW3 Williams: Communications & Electronics Tech.

It was great seeing another old “battle buddy” and catching up.    “Life is Good” on the William’s ranch… and what a cool ranch it is with lots of cows, chickens, goats, etc., I hope we get the chance to visit again soon 🙂  BTW – for those “civilians” out there reading this blog – the term “battle buddy” isn’t just a term I made up… it’s a real thing. Check out the Wikipedia® link (here).

Well, that’s it for now… my next post will bring you up to date on our overnight stop in Shreveport, LA and then Vicksburg, MS.  We’re still on our way to visit our youngest daughter in Bowling Green, KY.  Stay tuned…