06 November 2009

No good

I got the news about Fort Hood while I was driving home yesterday, and spent about 500 miles punching the "seek" button and trying to keep up with developments.

It's nothing short of horrifying to lose our people here at home.  One of the biggest sources of stress for our Warriors downrange is the utter lack of a true "safe zone" anywhere in Iraq or Afghanistan.  That just makes it worse when the possibility of sudden and random murder becomes a reality here in the United States.

The last unit I supported in Iraq is a Fort Hood battalion.  Fortunately, if things have remained on schedule, they are still in Iraq.  And that's not something you say very often.

I was surprised at my impressions when I first heard who the shooter was.  I will leave the Islam issue alone - there's nothing printable I have to say about that.  What floored me (and surprised me by doing so) was the degree to which I was stunned that it was a field-grade officer who had killed Soldiers.

I understand that crazy is crazy, and evil is evil, and that neither crazy nor evil are ruled out by class, age, education, etc.  I also understand that the Medical Corps is not the same as the rest of the Army.  But an officer, particularly a goddam major, is expected to be a mature leader, for whom the care of Soldiers is a sacred trust.

Killed by someone who you automatically, by definition, trust with your life

This shitbag had apparently decided it was just too darn hard to bear the responsibilities he accepted when he took his commission.  He should have been drummed out of the Army way back when he started saying he was having issues with our national policy (imagine having that piece of work assigned to help you work through some war-related issues).

Bah.  I'm disgusted.  And devastated for the troopers killed and wounded, and their comrades in arms.  These people have done enough, and that more strength and resilience is going to be required of them to deal with events at their home...it's heartbreaking.

I give thanks, though, for the Soldiers on the ground who shut doors and barred the shooter from getting to further concentrations of people.  I give thanks for the Soldiers brave and quick-witted enough to begin performing care under fire while utterly without the ability to return fire.  And I give thanks for the warriors who don't go downrange, like DoD Police SGT Kim Munley, who ran to the sound of the guns and dropped the shooter killing her flock.  Munley is married to the military, accepted the responsibility of protecting the military community, and deserves to be considered a hero on par with any Soldier who runs into a hail of fire to save his comrades.