When Missy and Jeremiah Romack received the news, they would be leading the Kerrville Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center; there was no hesitation — they were ready.
The couple, who have been married 15 years, arrived in Kerrville in June. Missy is the Salvation Army's ranking major, while her husband is a captain — the length of Salvation Army service determines the ranks. They're both native Texans — he's from Abilene, while she's from Amarillo — and the opportunity to come home and run Kerrville's Kroc was a dream come true.
Maj. Romack leads many of the Salvation Army's Sunday worship services, while Capt. Romack provides technical support and assistance all across the Kroc.
While serving in Waxahachie, Texas, the Romacks attended the grand opening of the Kerrville Kroc Center in 2010. Since that time, they served in Florida and Atlanta before being called to come home to Texas.
Now they're gearing up for their first Thanksgiving in Kerrville, and the Kroc Center's celebration is the biggest in town.
"It's going to be controlled chaos," Capt. Romack said of Thursday's meal, served inside the center, delivered to those who can't make it and then provided to motorists at rest stops on Interstate 10 — just east of Kerrville.
"We've got a lot of community partners who have stepped up," Capt. Romack said. "While we're doing all of that, we're doing Angel Trees and Kettles to bring in the Christmas season."
Ah, yes, because Christmas is right around the corner — the Salvation Army's signature events need to be cared for as well.
The couple met as teenagers at Salvation Army church camp in Midlothian. After returning from camp, 275 miles separated the couple, and admittedly there were some phone calls.
"There were lots of phone calls," Maj. Romack recalled.
So many calls that Capt. Romack remembers a stern lecture from his father after a $600 phone bill arrived, but it all worked out in the end.
"Now we're married and serving in the Salvation Army, and for us that is our calling," Maj. Romack said.
That calling has led them back to Kerrville, and this week marks their first big challenge of the year. On Thursday, the Kroc staff and volunteers will feed hundreds of people.
"I would say teaching our children to serve on that day, which is a special day, so they can see how blessed we are with our family and the bountiful supply that we have been blessed with," said Maj. Romack of the couple's two children. "We want to teach them at a young age to keep giving."