Four years after the Fort Hood shooting, Kimberly Munley decided to come back to Central Texas as she continues to try to help the victims of Nov. 5, 2009.
On that day, Nidal Hasan, a former Army major, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and opened fire in the medical processing building of the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.
The Defense Department labeled the shooting as “workplace violence,” not terrorism — something Munley is working to get changed.
Munley was one of the Fort Hood police officers who was at the scene of the shooting, where she engaged in a gunfight with Hasan and helped to end the attack. Munley was also wounded.
She now lives in North Carolina and works as a background investigator. Munley traveled back to Killeen on Friday to host a benefit concert featuring country band The Mulch Brothers.
“It is important to do this event here in this community where the shooting happened,” said Munley, who created the Kim Munley Foundation late last year for the purpose of providing support to victims and their families.
The foundation is spreading faster than Munley said she expected.
“We have tons of support, and things for the foundation are going amazingly well,” she said.
During the benefit concert, held at Whiskey Creek Saloon in Killeen, Munley said she considers Central Texas to be her second home and was “overwhelmed with emotion” at seeing her friends.
“Kim has chosen this mission to help the victims,” said Brenda McDonald, Munley’s friend and agent. McDonald, who also lives in North Carolina, travels with Munley raising awareness for the foundation.
“We don’t want America to forget,” McDonald said.
The benefit also was to remind people the importance of reclassifying the event as terrorism — a battle many survivors and local congressional leaders are currently embroiled in.
Reclassification will help military service members who were wounded attain benefits for their medical and financial needs.
Joleen Cahill attended Friday’s concert to see and show support for Munley. Cahill’s husband, Michael Cahill, was the only civilian killed in the shooting.
“This event keeps the community aware about the ongoing needs of the victims,” said Cahill, who recently returned from visiting shooting victims in Minnesota. “It was an act of terrorism.”
As the Mulch Brothers’ tour continues across the country, the band dedicated itself to raising money and awareness for Munley’s Foundation.
“After meeting Kim and hearing the whole story of what happened here at Fort Hood, we knew we had to help,” Mark Mulch said.
All of the proceeds from the sale of their song “I’m All In,” will be going to the Kim Munley Foundation.
“Every time we perform the song ‘I’m All In’ at our shows, we tell people the story of what happened here at Fort Hood.”
For more information on supporting the Kim Munley Foundation, go to www.kimmunley.org.