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Fort Hood, scene of a shooting Wednesday, is a sprawling base in central Texas between Dallas and Austin, just southwest of Waco. It opened in 1942 as Camp Hood as the U.S. military kicked into high gear for World War II.

Today, the post is headquarters for the Army's III Corps, its primary heavy armor force. Many soldiers stationed there have served repeated deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At 339 square miles, Fort Hood is one of the largest military bases in the world. About 41,000 soldiers work and train there. Soldiers at the fort belong to some of the Army's most famed and battle-hardened unit, including the 1st Cavalry Division, 4th Infantry Division, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Armored Corps Artillery and the 13th Corps Support Command..

The post has been a focus of the Pentagon's efforts to counter wartime stress among troops. The Army launched a number of psychiatric programs to help soldiers deal with effects of post-traumatic stress.

Some of the Army's top officers, including its chief of staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, have served at Fort Hood.

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