Today marks a somber day in American and Texas history, as it commemorates ten years since the Islamic terrorist attack at Fort Hood that killed 13 soldiers and wounded 32 others.
On the afternoon of November 5, 2009, a former Army psychiatrist opened fire inside the Soldier Readiness Center on the west side of the base before being shot and captured alive.
On August 13, 2013, the terrorist was convicted on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder before being sentenced to death five days later on August 18.
Further investigation revealed the killer to be in contact with foreign terrorist affiliates and organizations prior to carrying out the attack.
He is currently incarcerated at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks on Fort Leavenworth in Kansas where he awaits execution.
Earlier this week, Vice President Pence met with military service members in Fort Hood and visited a memorial commemorating the victims and the tragic events of that day.
“Ten years ago, on November 5, terror struck at the heart of this base when a former Army psychiatrist opened fire inside the Soldier Readiness Center, claiming the lives of 13 extraordinary Americans. When I arrived last night, I stopped and paid my respects at the Fort Hood November 5 Memorial. I walked by the columns dedicated — each individual one — to the 13 men and women who fell that day. And I was deeply moved — moved by the tributes to all of those that were lost,” Vice President Pence said.
Additionally, the vice president emphasized the Trump administration’s commitment to supporting the nation’s military, defense, and provision for the brave men and women who serve at all levels of government every day.
In 2015, each victim of the shooting was awarded the Purple Heart with an added amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that extended Purple Heart eligibility to “members killed or wounded in attacks by foreign terrorist organizations,” a measure advocated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R).
In honor of the victims and those forever impacted by the tragic events of that day, Sen.Cruz released a statement of remembrance and gratitude saying, “As we honor the memory of the innocent men and women who lost their lives that day, we must also celebrate the courage and bravery of those who ran directly into the line of fire to bring others to safety. I am grateful for their heroism and unite with Texans across the Lone Star State to remember those lost that horrific day.”
Congressman John Carter (R-TX-31), whose district encompasses Fort Hood, also issued a message of remembrance, hope, and faith saying, “No matter how many days pass, the horrors of that day remain on my mind, and our community still carries the weight of grief for those we lost.”
“We will never forget their service to our country, or the sacrifices they made when facing evil. God bless Ft. Hood.”
The men and women who lost their lives include:
- Michael Grant Cahill, 62
- Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, 52
- Justin Michael DeCrow, 32
- John P. Gaffaney, 56.
- Frederick Greene, 29
- Jason Dean Hunt, 22
- Amy Sue Krueger, 29
- Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19
- Michael S. Pearson, 22
- Russell Gilbert Seager, 51
- Francheska Velez, 21
- Juanita L. Warman, 55
- Kham See Xiong, 23
- Aaron Thomas Nemelka
- Amy Sue Krueger
- Fort Hood
- Francheska Velez
- Frederick Greene
- Jason Dean Hunt
- John Carter
- John P. Gaffaney
- Juanita L. Warman
- Justin Michael DeCrow
- Kham See Xiong
- Libardo Eduardo Caraveo
- Michael Grant Cahill
- Michael S. Pearson
- National Defense Authorization Act
- Russell Gilbert Seager
- Ted Cruz
- Vice President Pence
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.