President says nation will always remember Fort Hood casualties
November 10, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 10, 2009) -- The nation will long remember those who were killed during the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, President Obama said during a memorial service there this afternoon.
"Here is what you must also know," he told grieving family members and friends of those lost. "Your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life's work is our security and the freedom that we all too often take for granted."
At about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5, Maj. Hasan Nidal Malik, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly fired shots into the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas. Soldiers in the center were processing for deployment to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The shooting resulted in 13 dead and some 30 injured. All but one of those killed were Soldiers.
"These men and women came from all parts of the country," Obama said. "Some have long careers in the military. Some signed up to serve in the shadow of 9/11. Some have known intense combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some cared for those did. Their lives speak to the strength, the dignity, the decency of those who serve. And that is how they will be remembered."
The memory of those lost will be rekindled every time an American enjoys the subtle pleasures of life in a free nation, the president said.
"Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town, every dawn that a flag is unfurled, every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- that is their legacy," the president said.
The president also told those attending the memorial service there is no justification for the crimes that were committed, and that the killer will know justice.
"No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts," he said. "No just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done we know that the killer will be met with justice, in this world and the next."
The president also addressed the continued fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, on the eve of Veteran's Day, acknowledged the service of all those who serve.
"Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and it is a chance to pause and pay tribute," he said. "As we honor the many generations that have served, all of us, every single American, must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before. We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes."
Twelve Soldiers and one retired Soldier died Nov. 5 as a result of the shooting. Those individuals include:
-- Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman, 55, of Havre De Grace, Md. She was assigned to the 1908th Medical Company, Independence, Mo.
-- Maj. Libardo Caraveo, 52, of Woodbridge, Va. He was assigned to the 467th Medical Detachment, Madison, Wis.
-- Capt. John P. Gaffaney, 54, of San Diego, Calif. He was assigned to the 1908th Medical Company, Independence, Mo.
-- Capt. Russell Seager, 51, of Racine, Wis. He was assigned to the 467th Medical Company, Madison, Wis.
-- Staff Sgt. Justin Decrow, 32, of Plymouth, Ind. He was assigned to the 16th Signal Company, 62nd Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis. She was assigned to the 467th Medical Company, Madison, Wis.
-- Spc. Jason Hunt, 22, of Tillman, Okla. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tenn. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolinbrook, Ill. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn. He was assigned to the Forward Support Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago, Ill. She was assigned to the 15th Combat Support Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
-- Chief Warrant Officer retired Michael Cahill of Cameron, Texas. He was a civilian employee on Fort Hood.