By Maj Gen James R. Sholar
Deputy Chief, Army Reserve for Operations, Readiness, Training, and Mobilization and Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Reserve Command
The following email was sent to ROA leadership from Gen Sholar after his trip to Fort Hood:
“I spent Sunday and Monday at Ft Hood. Five of the 13 who were killed were Army Reserve Soldiers - all medical Soldiers. They were members of two Combat Stress Units getting ready to deploy. We also still have seven seriously wounded in the hospital.
“I visited all of our wounded and their families. All except one have multiple wounds. There are others who have been returned to duty who still have bullets in them (yes, that is correct). All are recovering but of course lives have been changed forever.
“I was also able to visit with the other Soldiers in the units. They are doing okay under the circumstances but are ready to get on with their training and get going. I asked one Soldier how he was doing and he said that he was fine when he was with the other Soldiers and was struggling a bit when he wasn't. I told the others about that conversation (without a name of course) and there was a lot of agreement.
“The Soldiers, both wounded and those not physically injured, wanted to talk. For obvious reasons, I won't begin to write all of that here but I will tell you one thing they did tell me. They absolutely wanted the police to get their credit for their response but they also said, “Sir, we were the first responders.” As you may know, they made their way out of the original site and into an adjacent admin building. There they administered first aid to the injured. They stripped off their uniform tops and used what material they could to treat the wounded. More than one told me, “Every single Soldier was doing something - administering first aid, applying tourniquets, etc, holding hands, offering words of assurance and encouragement.” Their stories were amazing as they talked about what they had done for one another and I was tremendously humbled just to be there and listening.
“Clearly this is life changing for all. I certainly don't want to sound too casual about this but I know that our Soldiers are resilient and they and the Army will get through this.
“I know each of us is dealing with this horrific event in our own way but no one associated with the Army is untouched. I know that all our Soldiers and their families would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.”