Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Re-post

I've said nothing about Fort Hood because anything I could write would be feeble and foolish against that horrible loss. A friend of Trooper's related a tale of his experience. I hope he won't mind my posting just a bit of it...

At about 1:30, I was sitting on the front row of the theater on the far left side. A side entrance to the theater was located directly to my left about three feet away. I heard three or four muffled “pops” and thought it sounded a little odd. Suddenly, the door near me flew open and a man fell into the theater with a gunshot wound in his back. I started for the man to see what was wrong but two NCO’s jumped up and grabbed the man and laid him on the edge of the stage. One of them shouted “Are there any medical personnel in the building?” Two of the graduates ran to the stage, threw off their caps and gowns and began treating the man as best they could. They announced that his wound was not life threatening. As the man was being loaded onto a stretcher, five or six heavily armed civilian security personnel entered the back of the auditorium with their rifles and pistols pointing upwards. One of them shouted that everyone should take a seat immediately, and believe me, that happened very quickly.

They asked that all senior NCO’s in the building proceed to one of the eight entry doors in the building, and again, that was done immediately. Once the security guys ascertained that the wounded man being removed from the stage would survive, they walked across the front of the stage and slowly opened a door on the opposite side of the auditorium—one which opened out onto a parking lot that separated the Howze Theater from the Soldiers Dome where the rest of the shooting occurred. We could hear rapid gunfire coming across the parking lot. One of the security guys again shouted a request for any doctors and nurses in attendance, and about 15 people immediately moved to the door where the security guys were standing. I heard one of the security folks tell the assembled medical personnel that there were many wounded people in the adjacent building, and that they were needed to help out. The medical people were told to follow the security guys, keep low, and move quickly without stopping. There was no hesitation on their part, they just moved out to do their jobs.

[...] One interesting thing about all this—about an hour after the shooting died down, the loud speakers all over the base started playing the old Cavalry bugle call called “Recall.” I have never heard that on an active duty base before, but apparently the soldiers knew what it meant, that they were to drop what they were doing and return to their units.

As for this day? Perhaps just as well to revisit the words of a favorite man...

Recall, indeed.

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