They were there for their country, but they died before their time.
It is certainly disheartening to take a peek in to the lives of the men and women who lost their lives in the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, knowing all too well that despite all the good that they have undoubtedly accomplished in their lifetimes, they were all capable of so much more. And we also know that if they were to make that ultimate sacrifice, this was not the way they would have wanted to say their last goodbyes.
The list of those who died at Fort Hood contains people from diverse cultures and backgrounds as well as varying lengths of military service and experience, but they all seemed to be held together by a common bond — the drive to serve.
Among the thirteen is civilian Michael Cahill, who served in the Army Reserve. He used to be a registered nurse who pursued further studies and eventually became a physician’s assistant. He was, at the time of the shooting, assisting in the physical examinations of soldiers who were preparing for deployment.
There were soldiers of various ranks who were all there to prepare to be deployed to locations where their services were needed. Aside from being soldiers, they were beloved husbands, sons, daughters, fathers. One of them – Pvt. Francheska Velez of Chicago, Illinois – was on the way to becoming a mother. She had recently returned from Iraq and had recently been transferred to Fort Hood as she was pregnant. She reportedly told her father that she is set on continuing her career in the military after giving birth.
All this seemingly senseless loss has certainly awakened the senses of a lot of people to the plight of our soldiers, specifically on the emotional and mental distress that they have to go through because of the things that they see and the experiences that they face.
Those who would like to learn more about the lives of the victims of Fort Hood can check out this feature on CNN.