Obama Eulogizes Soldiers Killed at Fort Hood
Update: For the second time in five years, President Obama arrived at Fort Hood to mourn alongside those grieving the loss of their family members in a shooting on post. Three men were killed and sixteen were injured in the shooting on April 2.
Fort Hood families know death is a part of war: 576 soldiers Fort Hood have died serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“As an army we accept this a dangerous profession, and all who wear this wonderful uniform and pledge to defend our nation and its way of life, understand they may be called to make that ultimate sacrifice," says John M McCue, Secretary of the Army. “But inside these gates, behind these walls, we expect a much different order of things.”
It was only a week ago that Spc. Ivan Lopez got into a verbal argument with another soldier over a request for leave and shot people at various locations on the army post before turning the gun on himself.
President Obama eulogized the three men who lost their lives: Sgt. 1st Class Daniel M Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney and Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens.
“It was love for the army that made them the soldiers they were," President Obama said. "For Danny, said his fiancé, being in the army was his life. Carlos, said a friend, was the epitome of what you would want a leader to be in the army. Timothy helped counsel his fellow soldiers.”
The president said Owens died walking toward the shooter trying to calm him down.
"He would help out anybody. That’s just how he is," said Caycee Hauck, civilian and friend of Timothy Owens. "He didn’t care if knew you. He didn’t care if he didn’t know you, if he just saw you in a store. He’d still help you out.”
Meanwhile, Fort Hood Commanding Officers Mark A Milley said the memorial offered a day of grieving and pride in those who jumped into action at the sound of the first shots.
“Pride in the military police woman who faced down gunman and helped to end many would've taken a step back and sought cover. She took a step forward," Milley said.
Officials say 3,000 people attended the memorial.
Original story (1:03 p.m.): Soldiers and their families are gathering at Fort Hood for a memorial honoring those killed and injured in a shooting last week.
The large flag in the center of Fort Hood's Sadowski Field flies at half-staff as people gather to pay their respects. Four people died in the shooting – including alleged gunman Spc. Ivan Lopez – and 16 people were injured.
The three killed were Sgt. 1st Class Daniel M. Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens. See a slideshow and read more about them here.
The memorial will begin with a concert and invocation. President Barack Obama will give some remarks, along with members of the army. Other elected officials are expected to attend the memorial.
Security has tightened around the post. Three rows of stacked shipping containers surround the back of the memorial site in addition to increased security checks.