Mike Conaway, a United States Representative from Texas called the shooting on November 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas “a waste of precious lives.” Twelve “precious lives” were lost that day; 31 additional soldiers were hurt with varying degrees of injuries and taken to local hospitals. Among the twelve dead was a civilian police officer. Fort Hood, Texas is 340 square miles with at least five gates leading in and out. There are schools, stores and military housing on the base. It has the ability to train two armored divisions of the United States Army.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, had recently been reassigned from Walter Reed Medical Center to Fort Hood. Hasan was born in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech University. According to the Associated Press, Hasan received a “poor performance evaluation” while at Walter Reed.” Hasan is a convert to Islam.
Major Hasan used two handguns when he opened fire upon his fellow soldiers on November 5, 2009. The shooting took place at a personnel and medical processing center in Fort Hood. Soldiers report to the Center before being deployed overseas and also upon returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired Major General Robert Scales described the shooting as being done with “great deliberation and great precision.” Scales said Hasan wanted to make “…some kind of statement.” It was also said Hasan was displeased “about being deployed” overseas.
Retired Colonel Terry Lee worked with Major Hasan at Fort Hood. According to Lee, Hasan made comments about six months ago to the effect the USA “should not be over there.” Colonel Lee also stated, “Over a period of time (Hasan) became more agitated. He was sort of a loner to himself.” Colonel Lee asked, “Why was he transferred from Walter Reed to Fort Hood?”
President Obama told reporters the shooting was “…a horrific outburst of violence.” He continued saying, “It is horrifying that (soldiers) should come under fire at an army base on American soil. My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the fallen. We are going to stay on this.” Lawmakers on Capitol Hill held a moment of silence for the victims, their families and those serving around the world.
Retired Major General Robert Scales, Fox News Military Analyst, said his first thought was this was “…an act of terrorism.” However, he continued saying there was “…no evidence this is a terrorist act. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.” Major Scales told Fox News that Major Hasan “shot at least 44-50 rounds. (It was) a lot of ammunition in a short time.”
Nader Hasan, cousin of Major Hasan, told Fox News “We are shocked. He was born and raised here. He is a good American. Both his parents are American. (He) “never got in trouble.”
For five hours, Fort Hood was in lockdown. As we await a news conference from Fort Hood, we must pray for the victims, their families and ourselves. What is happening in our country when such terrible violence occurs at a secure army base such as Fort Hood? We need to take a closer look at our values and ideals in order to make our towns, cities and our country a safer place to live as well as a nation which we can be proud of once again.