On Nov. 5, 2009, Kimberly Munley was drawn into a gunfight with Nidal Hasan.
More than four years later, Munley, a former Fort Hood police officer, still feels compelled to help the victims of the Fort Hood shooting.
“I’m fortunate and blessed that I don’t have issues except for the survivor’s guilt and the guilt that it happened on my clock and I didn’t get there faster,” she said. “I have an obligation to them for the rest of my life to aid and help them with what happened on Nov. 5.”
On that day, 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.
Munley now lives in North Carolina and works as a background investigator, while continuing to do what she can for those impacted by the shooting.
Late last year she launched the Kim Munley Foundation, which is designed to benefit the victims of the shooting and the families of the deceased.
The nonprofit also aims to raise awareness about the efforts to reclassify the shooting, which would help military victims attain benefits.
“(I want to help) the ones that were wounded and suffer to this day because they don’t get the benefits,” Munley said. She estimated each military member was denied about $60,000 because of the classification, as well as some Veterans Affairs benefits.
“It’s a personal cause for me,” she said. “The only thing I benefit from, if it gets reclassified, is peace of mind. As a law enforcement officer, I can say that anything that happens in any officer’s beat, you hold and always hold a responsibility for what happened.”
On Friday night, Munley will be back in Central Texas to host a benefit concert to raise awareness and funds. The concert, at Whiskey Creek in Killeen, will feature the country band the Mulch Brothers, who have dedicated themselves to raise money for Munley on their entire 30-state tour. The band is best known for their song, “Steal You Away” from the movie, “Country Strong,” and for their latest single, “Pushin’ Up Daisies.”
Mark and David of the Mulch Brothers, met Munley at a North Carolina show in October, and are looking forward to her hosting the show back in her old stomping grounds. “We are honored to tour with a true American hero; we will do our part to help raise funds and awareness for the victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack,” the brothers said in an emailed statement.
“It is a special honor to be playing Friday night at Whiskey Creek, so close to where it all began for her. All proceeds from the sale of our song ‘I’m All In’ will be going to the Kim Munley Foundation for the victims of Fort Hood. We have dedicated that song to them and play it in their honor each time.”
Doors at the venue open at 8 p.m. and Munley will be there to greet people.
“I can assure an awesome show,” Munley said.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.