Thousands of Boots Fill Lawn for Fort Hood Memorial

A memorial exhibit at Fort Hood gives new meaning to the phrase "boots on the ground."

Thousands of boots cover the lawn outside III Corps headquarters on the military installation in Texas.

The memorial is dedicated to soldiers who have died since September 11, 2001. There are 34 rows of boots, each with its own flag, picture and the name of a military member who has died.

"You hear about it, and then when you see it," said military veteran Alan Scarlett. "Then you put it together, it's like, wow."

Those who have visited say seeing the exhibit is hard to put into words.

"It's a person who lived and breathed and had a family, people who loved them," said Jan Scarlett.

Each of the 7,000 boots has its own story.

Most of the boots were donated by local groups but the pairs that are tied together are the soldier's actual boots, donated by the families. Many have been personalized with messages from loved ones and family photos.

"You look down and you see the wife and the children and their daddy is gone. Or their mommy's gone," said Alan Scarlett.

This was the first year for the memorial. Theresa Johnson, manager of Fort Hood's Fisher House brought the idea for the memorial back from Hawaii, in hopes of remembering every sacrifice made.

"Brings tears to my eyes," said Johnson.

The display will be up through Veterans Day. It will then go into storage until next year, when Johnson plans to bring it back.

Karin Markert has taken a photo of every one of the 7,000 boots. You can find out more about the memorial and photos the boots by year, CLICK HERE.

Contact Us