As most of you know, I am currently serving in the U.S. Army. As some of you may know, I am stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. And, as I am sure all of you know by now, Fort Hood was the scene of a tragic mass murder on Thursday.
My unit was out in the field conducting some training when we received the phone call to get 100% accountability of all of our people and that Fort Hood was on lock down. Not really knowing what was going on, we complied with the accountability order and waited for details. Then, the details started trickling in.
When something like this happens, it shocks. When something like this happens, it touches everyone, as a human and as an American. Here we are, the greatest nation on Earth (if you are from a nation other than the U.S., I apologize for this seemingly arrogant statement, but in my opinion, it is 100% accurate), with the greatest military ever seen, and now we are reacting to one of our own slaying us. It's a difficult thing to understand and to grasp.
Most of you have probably heard the details by now. Fort Hood, which is the largest military post in the country, lost 13 Soldiers during the incident, with another 31 wounded. What a tragic day.
The alleged shooter, a psychologist working with soldiers here on the post, is currently in a coma after being shot. There is still no known motivation behind the shooting, but there is a lot of speculation out there. I won't speculate myself, and I won't jump to any conclusions, but we are still waiting for the real story behind why a commissioned officer (a Major if you understand the Army's rank structure), a doctor with an oath to do no harm, and a soldier sworn to defend the U.S. Constitution and to live the Army Values would do such a thing.
More importantly, though, are some of the stories just starting to emerge. Soldiers running into the chaos multiple times, trying to help the wounded and lead others to safety. Two soldiers, in the middle of their college graduation ceremony at the theater next door, ran - wearing their graduation gowns - into the shooting site and brought out more wounded. Meanwhile, other soldiers outside the building were loading up the wounded into their personal vehicles, fully loading them, which includes pickup truck beds, and speeding their way to the hospital.
It's amazing the reactions of soldiers in a time of crisis. Soldiers, who are preparing to leave for war or are home from war, suddenly were facing a situation no one could have seen coming. Unarmed and unprepared, they were suddenly under fire. What was their reaction? Help others. Suddenly, soldiers were helping soldiers. It became more important to help their buddies than it did to help themselves.
One female soldier carried a wounded soldier out of the building. She then turned and ran back in, bringing out another two wounded soldiers. As she was running back into the building, the EMS personnel finally stopped her. She was bleeding from her arm and leg, where she had been shot. She didn't care. She wanted to help others.
The mental, physical, and emotional toughness of the soldiers serving the United States is amazing. I am currently in command of over 125 of the finest people I will ever meet. Every day, I realize how lucky I am to be in this position. I have been given the responsibility to train, prepare, and lead soldiers in combat. I have seen firsthand the ability of Soldiers to react to a situation and do things I would not have thought possible.
I know this is a Miami Dolphins blog and we are all looking forward to the game this week against New England, but I ask you to please take a moment and remember our men and women in uniform. Say a prayer for the families of those we lost here Thursday and those who were wounded in the fire. Don't forget to think about the soldiers affected by losing friends and colleagues. Really, that's my perspective for this week.
In a time of war, we expect to lose soldiers. It's the price of war, and, while devastating every time we lose a single life, it's at least understandable.
When soldiers are at home, on a military installation, it's hard to rationalize the loss of 13 of our nation's finest.
May God Bless them, their Families, all of our soldiers, and America.