Tammy Munson: November 5th, 2009 will be one of those days that I never will forget where I was or what I was doing. In ways, it reminded me a lot of my thoughts and fears of September 11, 2001. It brought back images of desperately searching for information, hoping it wasn't what you thought it was, and praying for those families affected.
I first heard of the shooting at Fort Hood on Twitter, I immediately thought, "Well, Fort Hood is certainly no stranger to violence." There have been numerous shootings and murders in and around Fort Hood over the last several years. It must be something along those lines.
But as information began to emerge on Twitter, Facebook and the major news channels, my thoughts went to: "Oh my goodness, this is actually happening." I felt an immediate heaviness in my heart and wondered if we knew anyone directly who was there. I began searching for those that we know in Texas and luckily none of them were any of the families directly impacted by the horrific tragedy at Fort Hood.
It was also a role reversal as well. Usually, it is my deployed husband telling me what is going on over there where he is stationed in Afghanistan so I won't worry. Yesterday he was calling me to find out what happened so he wouldn't worry. It was the middle of the night for them, and there wasn't a whole lot of information
As the information and speculation began to explode all over the internet, I found myself glued to the internet and television just like I was on September 11th. I was not only worrying about those who were getting that knock on their door from official military personal, but about our own personal safety.
One of the reasons so many families live on a military installation is the safety factor. It is so much safer to live on "post." You feel safe here. You see the MP's patrolling the streets on foot and in their vehicles. You have security at the gates, so you must have a Dept. of Defense sticker and an ID to gain access. One man, an Officer in the US Army, took that feeling of being protected and safe away from us.
Of course I'm not paralyzed with fear or anything, but it does make you stop and think. Are we really "safer" here on post? Was that something we tell ourselves so that we can make it through the deployments? I don't think any of us will be that naive any more. If it can happen at Fort Hood, it can happen at just about anywhere.
The horrific tragedy that occurred yesterday was magnified I believe by many in the mainstream media and others. There was ton of speculation and assuming of unproven facts. I thought that they were supposed to report the FACTS. But I know that mainstream media has a long history of sensationalizing stories to make things more news-worthy.
This was not the time to do that. Family members of Fort Hood soldiers were desperately searching for information about their loved ones and what they were finding was lots of speculation and "talking heads" jumping to conclusions. They needed fact and truth.
All in all, the people of the United States did what we do best. We rallied around those who were affected by tragedy and we will continue to be there for them until they no longer need our love, prayers and support.