tragedy at Fort Hood

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on November 6, 2009

I have friends in different branches of the military so hearing about the tragedy at Fort Hood affected me on a personal level. I reached out to friends who are in the Army. I hope they or their friends didn’t know anyone at Fort Hood. If they or their friends do, I hope those people are safe and accounted for. I hope anyone you know is too.

I want all of you to know that as commander-in-chief, there’s no greater honor, but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.

– President Barack Obama’s remarks following the Fort Hood tragedy

I think President Barack Obama is an eloquent speaker who doesn’t use his words lightly so I believe him. Mister President, please take care of our troops and get us out of war.

As mentioned in my previous post, I live across the street from Walter Reed Medical Army Medical Center (WRAMC). On weekdays, there are usually streams of people – military personnel and civilians – walking in both directions.

Today was different. I immediately felt a change in the air when I left my apartment this morning. There weren’t any soldiers or civilians standing on the corner waiting for the traffic light to change so they could cross the street and head into WRAMC. There wasn’t anyone walking around on the grounds. Hardly any vehicles were turning into the campus.

The walk to the metro station was eerily quiet, too. I passed only a handful of people, one of who was an Army man. Feeling all but helpless, I stopped this soldier to offer my condolences. “I’m sorry about what happened at Fort Hood.” He thanked me and we continued our separate ways.

And that’s when I felt the news hit me on an emotional level. (I know, what?!) I struggled to maintain my composure during the metroride into work but I did it!

I have a colleague whose husband is a doctor in the Army. We talked about the incident and, as it turns out, he went to medical school with the gunman. That was an unexpected piece of news. The consensus was complete shock and disbelief.

Talk to people. Talk to people. Talk to people. Or talk to someone. If you don’t have someone, talk to me. I will listen. If you don’t want to talk, we can sit. Or go somewhere. Hiking, perhaps?

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