I don’t know what to say. I have no answers. Yesterday was a very sad day for the Army’s mental health community and for the greater Army as well.
I applaud my colleagues at Ft. Hood for the bravery under fire and for their professionalism. Having been stationed there in the past, I am aware of the sheer size of the installation and know that it took quite a bit of coordination to get the situation under control. In terms of trauma care, it couldn’t have happened at a better place. Most of Ft. Hood’s soldiers have been deployed so many times that responding to a critical incident is second nature. What you read about in the papers and on the net about medics ripping their shirts to make bandages and soldiers transporting one another is 100% Army trauma training. Our medics are called combat medics for a reason and the handled themselves as they were trained. Our military and civilian police responded quickly and professionally. What people don’t realize is how many law enforcement agencies are on Army posts. We have the military police, CID (Criminal Investigative Division), and civilian police who work on post. We also have contracted gate guards. In addition, the FBI and local and regional law enforcement are frequent visitors and colleagues.
I can’t tell you anything about MAJ Hassan. Because I don’t know or understand his reasoning. But it is a scary thought to know we have to be afraid of our own providers. I’m sure there were red flags and the investigators will find them. I’m sure the people who had daily contact with him are second guessing themselves. It is a terrible place to be.
We’ll get through it, we always do. My thoughts are with the victims and their families and I’m so proud of the brave soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood who faced adversary and came out shining.