When I got home from work April 2, I squeezed my husband extra tightly.
I’ve never been happier to see him walk through our front doors before.
As soon as I caught wind that Fort Hood was on lockdown status due to a possible active shooter, my stomach dropped.
The journalist inside of me wanted answers, but the wife inside me wanted them faster — not just because I wanted to break the story first, but because my husband is a soldier who works on Fort Hood, and because of the friends I have who live and work on post who could have easily been in harm’s way.
Fortunately my husband, and my friends’ husbands and their family members were able to return home that night. Unlike those who had their lives stolen from them, while many others were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The military community is vast and its network is extensive. I was fielding calls left and right from friends stationed in places far and wide checking to see if we were OK and to get some answers because news media from around the world were all reporting something different.
Safe, but undoubtedly shaken, I counted my lucky stars that no one I knew was involved.
But as a spouse, my heart bled for those who wouldn’t get to hug their loved one ever again and for those who didn’t know the condition of their soldiers because they had been whisked away to a trauma center.
Fort Hood suffered yet another devastating blow last week when one of its own opened fire, killing three and wounding 16 of his fellow soldiers before taking his own life.
Almost five years ago, another soldier went on a similar shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13 people.
Just when the community was beginning to heal, their wounds were ripped open.
As a military spouse, our partners, our teammates in life, put themselves in harm’s way in foreign countries I can’t even pronounce and to hear that they aren’t even safe stateside is unsettling.
Even more unsettling is time and time again it’s a soldier who takes the lives of his comrades.
In the wake of even more tragedy, the primary target should not be more dialogue about gun control — not if we want to seriously address the issue of violence and its link to mental illnesses like PTSD.
However, not every act of violence that includes the discharge of a firearm is related to the questionable mental capability of the perpetrator.
Let’s be honest, though. The possibility that an individual resorting to deadly and inexcusable behaviors might have mental issues is a common thread in many of these horrors, but we shouldn’t hang our hats on that.
Not everyone with PTSD is violent. Not everyone who is violent has PTSD.
Contact Vanessa Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7567.