This is a picture of my Dad saying goodbye to me before leaving for Desert Storm.
Leaving as in my family and I watched him as he walked through a door and we returned to our home without him.
Leaving as in we talked to him through letters and tape recordings we would send back to each other so that he could hear our voices.
Before this day, he went through the same things the soldiers at Ft. Hood were doing today.
He had medical evaluations.
He wrote a will.
The shooting at Ft. Hood has shaken me.
This is a place that was my home,
it is a place where I would go to work with my dad,
it is a place where my family went and continues to go grocery shopping,
it is a place where I would go for medical treatment
it is the place where my little brother was born.
it is a place I still go to when I am back in Texas.
No matter what, Ft. Hood will always be a part of me.
I felt safe there.
Now, the military -
You see it is also a part of me. A big part.
I was raised by a military man -
A military man, in fact, who is a retired Major,
a military man who enlisted when he was 18 years old straight out of high school so that he could have the opportunity to go to college,
a military man who served in Vietnam as a medic.
Let me repeat that:
IN VIETNAM AS A MEDIC.
And mind you, he didn’t agree with that war either, and he didn’t want to go.
But he did.
He served a country he was not born in in a war he did not agree with.
This military man spent a great amount of time away from his family,
and towards the end of his career, he served in Desert Storm.
He is also the most intelligent man I have ever known.
The Army provided my family with many opportunities and I am thankful for them.
It’s not easy to be part of the military (especially in these times)
but those of us who have experienced it know that it is a fraternity of sorts.
Everyone has each others’ back.
This doesn’t mean, however, that I am a raging republican -
I’m not. (I opposed and still do oppose the war.)
But what happened today (as I said before) is not excusable.
I don’t care that the person who did this is Muslim.
What I care about is the fact that this person has shattered the lives of numerous people.
These people who were going to go overseas to serve their country, uphold their Oath of Enlistment,
were murdered on their own base.
I completely get that he didn’t want to go -
If it were me, my boyfriend, my father, or my brother I wouldn’t want them to go either.
But this was not and will never be the answer.
The military paid for at least part of his education and he was obligated to serve in return for that education just as my Dad did.
What happened today should never have happened.
It saddens me that a soldier turned on his fellow soldiers,
and that this is not the first time it has happened.
I don’t know how it could have been prevented - I have no answer.
All I know is that it is wrong,
that I will pray for those who died, those who were injured, and their families.
I will also pray for Major Hasan.
How lost he must have been.
People will undoubtedly disagree with me,
but he should be held to the Uniform Code of Military Justice,
and I believe be court martialed.
He disrespected the Oath he took as a soldier,
the Oath he took as a doctor,
the uniform he wore,
and the soldiers who turned to him for help.