Senator Fraser Presented With AUSA Exceptional Service Award
AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, has been awarded the Citation for Exceptional Service in Support of National Defense by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) for his efforts leading to the expansion of State Highway 195, a key deployment route from Fort Hood.
"I am deeply honored to be recognized by a such a prestigious organization like AUSA, and especially humbled by the appreciation expressed by its Central Texas-Fort Hood chapter in nominating me for this award," Fraser said.
"Now more than ever, when our nation's interests are threatened, Fort Hood units must be able to meet the call, and quickly," Fraser said. "Upgrading State Highway 195 had to be made a priority both in terms of national defense and protecting Central Texas motorists."
Once known locally in Central Texas as the notorious "Highway of Death," State Highway 195 claimed the lives of 21 Fort Hood soldiers and Central Texans between 1996 and 1998, according to newspaper accounts, many of them in head-on collisions.
After taking office in 1997, Fraser, along with then-Fort Hood Commanding General Leon LaPorte, began a campaign to persuade state highway officials to expand and re-design the road.
During the 1999 legislative session, Fraser authored Senate Bill 606 requiring the Texas Department of Transportation to work with Texas military installations to assess the condition of strategic deployment routes and identify those that require further construction, maintenance or expansion.
Subsequent to the legislation, TxDOT officials agreed to complete the study and make recommendations for highway improvements to speed the movement of troops and equipment.
"Senator Troy Fraser has led the fight for an expansion of the Texas sate highway system to ease and make safer both civilian and military movement to and from Fort Hood," said Ralph Gauer, AUSA's former Central Texas-Fort Hood chapter president.
"Many participated in this region-wide effort and rightly deserve praise," Gauer said. "But for more than seven years, the point man on this effort has been Senator Troy Fraser.
"Senator Fraser kept the state and more specifically the Department of Transportation focused on the mission," Gauer said. "Today, real progress is measured in miles of newly constructed highway that directly supports the movement need of Fort Hood and all in Central Texas."
AUSA is a national, non-profit association with more than 112,000 members and 128 chapters that works to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of the U.S. Army, including active duty, National Guard and Reserve units, as well as retirees and family members.