by Pa Rock
This afternoon the nation was rocked with the news that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a deployment readiness center at Ft. Hood, Texas. Major Hasan, a native of Virginia, was reportedly on the verge of being deployed to Iraq and did not want to go. He used two pistols in the random shooting, at least one of which was a semi-automatic, and was able to kill 11 individuals and wound 31 others before being wounded and stopped by a responder to the bloody mayhem. One of the wounded later died at the hospital, bringing the total deaths to twelve.
This is personal. I work for the military as a mental health provider (social worker). I have worked at a large army base - Ft. Campbell - that is somewhat smaller than Ft. Hood, though not by much, and I am very familiar with the types of stresses that haunt our brave servicemen and their families. I have also worked at deployment and redeployment readiness centers, much like the one where today's madness took place. In fact, if today's shooting had occurred at Ft. Campbell instead of Ft. Hood, I am certain that I would have known some of the victims.
This is an ugly business.
Many, if not most, of our brave young people who go to Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back damaged - both emotionally and physically. As today's carnage illustrates, the war is also impacting those who have yet to go. War has a cost, and that cost is truly staggering.
This craziness at Ft. Hood sickens me.