Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wow. Or, In Which I Stand Amazed.

When you live overseas and you don't get the news in English on tv, you have to rely on things like World Radio Switzerland or online news to know what's going on at home. It was with sadness that I read yesterday about the men and women at Fort Hood who were attacked and killed by one of their own. I've been reading some of the coverage this morning in the Washington Post and these two paragraphs, in particular, struck me:
Within moments of the [exchange of gun]fire, [Police Officer Kimberly] Munley and [Major Nidal] Hasan lay on the ground near each other bleeding badly. Hasan's pistols and several magazines of ammunition lay splayed near his body. A soldier rushed up to Munley and fashioned his belt into a tourniquet to stem the bleeding from her thigh before an ambulance ferried the officer to the base hospital.

Medics stripped off Hasan's camouflage top and began to treat his bullet wounds and pump plasma into his body to keep him alive. (Emphasis added.) Hasan and three other badly injured soldiers were flown by helicopter to Scott & White Hospital in nearby Temple, Tex.
It's that highlighted sentence that blew me away. It didn't matter that Hasan was the man who wreaked carnage, a comrade in arms who betrayed his brothers. He was, in that heinous instant, a fellow solider who was wounded and down and others stepped in and followed through on their duty.

They could have left him there to die.

They could have picked up one of his guns and shot him dead.

They could have done any number of things, but instead they fought to save his life.


My thoughts are with the men and women at Fort Hood and with all our brave men and women who stand at post every day. And my thoughts are with Major Hasan and his family, too. What a sad day.


NG said...

Wow. I have been on a media blackout lately due to a 6 year old who is grounded from TV and computers this week. So I only heard about this the day after and haven't read any of the news reports. I was just saying to my ex-military husband, "I can't believe that all these people with all this military training couldn't react to the situation faster." I am now prepared to eat those words.

Cele said...

An incredibly sad day, compounded my the man who went postal in Florida.

The police officer who stopped him from killing more is a hero. My heart goes out to the wounded and families of those who died. And to the family of Hassan who are in shock and replused by is actions.

lacochran said...

This way, hopefully, they can talk to him and try to figure out what happened and possibly stop this sort of thing in the future.

It does support my theory: war messes you up.

Too simple?

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

NG: I learned something new in this article, too: that guns are locked up on military bases. Who knew?

Cele: Amen.

LA: No, I don't think that's too simple. War is a waste and last week's events are screaming evidence of that.