A Temple Art Center has been dedicated to Michael Cahill, who lost his life to the Fort Hood terrorist attack in 2009, and his wife Joleen

Michael Cahill lost his life trying to stop the gunman with a chair on Nov. 5, 2009
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A national nonprofit is honoring the legacy of a man who lost his life in the terrorist attack at Fort Hood in 2009.

Almost thirteen years after that attack, national nonprofit Help Heal Veterans has dedicated their arts center in Temple to Michael and his wife Joleen.

Many veterans gathered for the dedication, some who knew Michael Cahill personally.

For the Cahill’s daughter, Kerry, the center is a continuation of the legacy her parents worked so hard, behind the scenes, to achieve.

“We grew up with this family of help and not just help but helpful soldiers. Continuing that legacy, this is a huge step in remembering the heroes from that day instead of anybody else,” said Kerry Cahill.

The art center will serve as a common area for active duty and veteran military to gather and explore their creative side.

Art on display at the newly dedicated Cahill Center in Temple
Art on display at the newly dedicated Cahill Center in Temple(KWTX)

Research shows that stimulation through art is a proactive way to combat the effects of PTSD in former military members.

During the dedication ceremony, the Cahill family was presented with a portrait of their late father, Michael Cahill.

“Having the honor of naming our local center after the Cahill family, it just helps us aspire to be greater. It also lets our veterans and soldiers know they have a space to go to, that maybe if they come here, I can take another step in my healing journey,” said Capt. Joe McClain, CEO of Help Heal Veterans.

Coming back to the Central Texas area is special for Kerry.

As a military brat, she moved around a lot but said her family found their forever when the family moved to Cameron in 1997.

“it’s where mom and dad finally found a place to land and stay put, nest and put some roots down. You know, when you spend most of your life not having that, it means a lot,” said Kerry Cahill.

The Cahill Center is on Fifth Street in Temple and art kits are free to the public.