FORT HOOD, Texas (WAVY) — Few people know the pain that the families of those wounded and killed at Fort Hood are going through like those who’ve been in their shoes. Thursday, 10 On Your Side’s Anita Blanton spoke to the families of two men who lost their lives in the 2009 shooting.
Shortly after the shooting on November 5, 2009, Blanton spoke with the family of Specialist JD Hunt in Oklahoma. On Thursday, his sister said she was reliving a sense of disbelief. But Joleen Cahill, the wife of Retired National Guardsman Michael Cahill, said this week’s shooting doesn’t come as a total shock. She talked about tragedy and change.
“My family and I know what those families are going through, and you just can’t ease the pain at first,” Cahill said. “I was with my oldest daughter and we were watching the news and I thought back. I was notified at 11:15 p.m., and that shooting happened at 1:30 p.m. So now, it’s a shock and then it’s not, because the best security in the world cannot stop everything.”
Fort Hood is one of the largest military installations in the world and Cahill knows not every vehicle can be checked nor every person supervised. But she says after 2009 shooting, one major change helped put some soldiers at ease.
“The one change that became an issue was brought up by the wounded,” Cahill said. “It’s that if there was a person allowed in the building who was allowed to carry a firearm, perhaps they could have stopped the shooter earlier.”
Today Joleen takes care of the fence around the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where her husband’s life came to a tragic end. Her husband’s killer was sentenced to death by a military jury in August 2013, and she and the other victims’ families in mourning bonded over the course of the trial.
“We supported each other, we talked to each other, we understood what each of us was going through,” Cahill said. “We could talk to each other and we still do.”
While Joleen sits on a board raising money for an upcoming memorial to honor those killed here at Fort Hood in 2009, she says now they’ll have to consider raising more money for the new names that will be added to the memorial.