Like Many of you, I watched the unfolding tragedy at Fort Hood. I was stunned that this type of scenario could play out on an American military base. Even more astounding was that the gunman was a high ranking member of our own armed forces – 39 year old Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an American born and educated psychiatrist whose duty was to treat our soldiers.
The Underlying Tragedy
It is tragic that so many people were killed and wounded at Fort Hood. It is and was an unthinkable crime. Our soldiers should be safe on their own home base. Equally tragic is that this soldier’s name is Hasan. The wife of an army officer told ABC’s news correspondent, Martha Raddatz, that “I wish his name was Smith.” Some people think that was an irrelevant statement, but I disagree.
I think this is a tragedy within a tragedy. If Hasan’s name was Smith would it make the victims of the shooting any less dead or wounded? No. But it wouldn’t bring back the fears and anxiety of 911. If his name was Smith, it wouldn’t stress people out to be around Muslims or people who look like Muslims. It is my hope that this man’s name will not cause us to fear people of Middle-eastern descent.
Should I fear or treat my neighbor differently because he is middle eastern? No, he’s a nice guy who has lived next door to me for 3 years. He is the same guy today that he was yesterday. The problem with Nidal Hasan is that people didn’t really know who he was.
There is so much we don’t know about Mr. Hasan. We don’t know the what or the why. Unfortunately for me, I am a big fan of Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy novels. My first thought was, “Is this man a sleeper?” I don’t know, but I hope that before it’s all over, we’ll find out. Quite frankly, my imagination is running wild and I look forward to answered questions.
Pray for Our Soldiers
It is not enough to pray for the families of the soldiers who were killed or wounded. This tragedy is far more reaching. This event affects everyone assigned to that base – every soldier, every military family and every civilian. It also affects every military person who wants to feel safe at home.