Retired Central Texas general continues Easter tradition of treating area homeless to chocolates and a meal
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - An 88-year-old retired lieutenant general from Fort Hood spent Easter weekend making special deliveries to a local homeless shelter, including 100 chocolate bunnies.
“It’s really an exciting opportunity to help people in need like this, and they are very appreciative of the efforts,” said Lieutenant General Jones.
Jones, of Killeen, has been a board member of the Friends in Crisis Homeless Shelter since 2016. He gives back in many ways throughout the year to the shelter with gifts of food and clothing, but over the last several years, he’s made it a point to deliver goodies on major holidays to those seeking shelter there.
For Easter, he not only brought Russel Stover bunny chocolates, but 96 cupcakes, and 96 cups of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Jones also provided four hams and 150 Hawaiian rolls.
“They were very pleased to get them,” Jones said with a smile.
The retired lieutenant general said he’s always enjoyed helping people because it’s something his mom taught him as a young boy.
“I grew up in a very fine home with a Christian family who did a lot of things in our community,” he said. “You’d be surprised how many people would show up at our house around lunchtime, and my mother would feed them, so I had some good insight on helping people.”
The Killeen homeless shelter has an extra special place in his heart because the number of veterans who are there.
“Last time I checked, they had 26 veterans there,” he said.
“I saw some of the veterans when I was there this weekend. I really feel gratified to help people in need, and they are so appreciative of it.”
Jones, who had a decorated military career, enlisted in the U.S Army in 1958.
He attended The United States Army Officer Candidate School, and then went onto the United States Army War College before being promoted to a three-star-general, the second-highest rank achievable in the U.S. Army.
His path in rising through the ranks was rare. “It was unheard of,” his wife, Betty, said.
Jones’ military career took him around the world but, eventually, landed him back home at Fort Hood, where Jones had spent five tours of duty.
In his three plus decades in uniform, Jones held several command and staff positions, culminating his career serving under Dick Cheney as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Manpower and Personnel Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Following his army retirement in 1991, Jones joined the staff of the American Red Cross, where he served as senior vice president for chapter services until 2000.
His passion has always been in helping others which, he said, is a trait he came by naturally.
Jones said he doesn’t let his age slow him down, and his doctors agree he’s healthy as can be. With a successful Easter delivery behind him, Jones is already looking ahead to his next major holiday where he’s planning red, white and blue cupcakes.
“I got a clean bill of health,” Jones said. “So the next holiday up: Memorial Day!”
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