Local Veterans Respond to Fort Hood Shooting

By Courtney Burris | cburris@krbc.tvg

Published 04/03 2014 06:50PM

Updated 04/03 2014 07:07PM

Many in Abilene have ties to the military and to Fort Hood. One local veteran was stationed at Fort Hood for a year after returning from the Vietnam War.

Ralph Rodriguez has fond memories of the Kileen area base he once called home. "I turned 21 years old when I was at Fort Hood."

Rodriguez was doing some yard work when he learned of the most recent deadly shooting at Fort Hood. "I got a telephone call from my brother-in-law. He is actually retired from Fort Hood and lives in Kileen and he called me and told me what is going on, so I stopped what I was doing."

Although there are still many details that have yet to be discovered, Rodriguez says he is interested to find out more about the mental health of the shooter. "I understand what the soldiers are going through, I went through it. I am not here to tell you war stories, but it is a real thing. It happens and its a deep, deep scar that we carry."

Al Leal served in the Air Force and is a Veteran of the Korean War, but says that no matter the branch of the military, his heart goes out to those effected.

"We are always a big family in the military. Even if you come out of the military, you still are."

Al says he was just channel surfing when he heard the news and says that it immediately brought back memories. "Of course I remember the other incident when the Major killed those people, you know... and I said, 'Oh no, it happened again'.

No matter what branch of the service these men served, they all bear the scars of the latest incident.

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