I've been in Killeen, Texas since Tuesday for a conference with the Boys and Girls Club. Going to Killeen was a treat because my dad and step-mom live there, and they just moved into a really swanky new house that I got to stay in. It's also the last city that my mom lived in before she had to come up to Arkansas, where she died at Springdale Hospital. My mom, my dad, and I had also lived in Killeen/Harker Heights when I was in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, (they later moved back when I went to college), because my dad was active military and stationed at Ft. Hood.
Now, both he and my step-mom work on Ft. Hood as civilians, my step-sister's husband is deployed active military, and I have a few friends who are military, deployed, or about to deploy. My dad left TDY yesterday, but my step-mom was at work today and one of my step-sisters was on post doing some paper work. I got a text message from my step-mom today around 2PM that said there had been a shooting on post, she was ok, and that the post was on lock-down, (and yes, it's called a POST, and NOT a base - dear media, please stop calling it a base). She and my step-sister didn't get to go home until 8:30PM.
It's terrible to think of such a familiar place (or ANY place) facing violence and heartache. The media kept reporting that no children were harmed during the shooting, but, hello - lots of soldiers are PRACTICALLY children, 18 - 23 years old. The last I checked, not many details were released, but they do know the name of the primary shooter - a 39 year old major in the US Army, Muslim by birth, about to deploy, psychiatrist, (on anti-depressants?), and the victim of harrasment, (unspecified, but open to easy speculation), in the work place.
When the news broke on TV, everyone at the conference gathered around this one TV in the BGC rec room, with this sign beneath it, as the BGC, along with many schools in the area - including the elementary schools I went to - are "adopted" by military units. We used to have field days on post where we got to explore helicopters and tanks, try simulation units, and eat the M&M packets out of MRE's.
I suppose what I am getting it, is that today was terrible, and my heart breaks for everyone affected by today's events. Ft. Hood has always been good to me, and I hope that it recieves the same good energy from the rest of humanity right now.