When the December issue of Texas Construction  appears in a few weeks, some might question why we feature a story about construction projects at Fort Hood, Texas. 

While our December issue will primarily be devoted to celebrating winning projects of the annual Best of '09 awards program, the issue also contains a feature focused on MILCON (military construction) activity at Fort Hood. The article, which we've posted in advance online, includes images showing a recently built replica of a village such as one might find somewhere in the Middle East, complete with the shell of a gold-domed mosque.

Why this story, some might ask, just weeks after a clearly emotionally disturbed U.S. Army psychiatrist of the Muslim faith allegedly killed 13 persons and injured some 20 others in the tragic November 5 Fort Hood massacre?

The answers are two-fold. One, the story about construction at the base was assigned and written nearly three months ago--the normal lead time for a monthly magazine piece. Two, it contains useful and informative information on new construction at the Army base, including a replica of a village like American troops might encounter in countries like Iraq. It is not unusual to find replicas at other Army bases, but it is to find one such as this that would be located in a more urban setting, we were told. As well, military building projects, especially in Texas are indeed "in high gear," as a headline relates from an Engineering News-Record feature published online on November 4

For these reasons, as tragic as the massacre is for so many, I decided as editor that the story is still relevant and timely, perhaps even more so.

Texas Construction offers its deepest sympathies to the families of those who were injured or killed at Fort Hood last week.