Eye witness account of the Ft. Hood Shooting
I do not know this person, but she is a friend of a friend. Figured I would share this, some of it is absolutely chilling. COL Platoni is a hero amongst heroes and a shining example for the Army officer corps.
"First let me say that I love you all and am so overwhelmingly blessed to be in the company of such phenomenal human beings......the best of the very best.
I am in the company of heroes. Even the wounded rendered aid to the other wounded and dying. I am no hero here at all, but do feel free to share my experiences at the scene. Those at the building where the shooting started took rounds to protect their fellow Soldiers, dying in the process. Many others risked their lives to drag Soldiers who took multiple rounds out of the building to safety. Unarmed, our 1SG tried to chase the shooter down, then landed medevac shoppers. The incredible acts of heroism will mark our lives into eternity...
These were acts of terrorism.
Love to all,
It is an exquisitely painful process to relive the events of 5 November 2009. I have lost dear friends and fellow Soldiers, some of the finest and most noble individuals I have ever had the privilege to know and with whom I was so very honored to serve. I will miss them for all the rest of my days on this planet.
At approximately 1330 and while on line at the legal section of the SRP site in the main building, I heard people screaming that there were shots fired at another building. There were several screams to this effect. Civilian employees started running, one of them yelling for us to get away from the windows. I shoved several of our Soldiers out the back door towards the deck and then moved towards the front door to assess the situation. That's when I saw several of our wounded being carried inside the building. I knew this was real from the very start. I ran towards the wounded, first kneeling at the side of CPT Gaffaney, someone that I respected and adored. He was bleeding from several gunshot wounds. I realized that I was not medically skilled to do much of anything, but in no way would I have considered leaving my comrades or the building under these circumstances. I locked eyes with SSG Hurtig and CPT Fry, trying to make sense of the devastation, and kept begging someone to tell me what to do to assist. I touched CPT Gaffaney and tried to hold his arm, to assure him that he was going to "make it", and to hang on for medical treatment that was on its way. I had to move out of the way for medics to do their job, but stayed close for any instructions, running in all directions and asking others for medical supplies for 1LT Gargan. At about this time, SSO Manning, SPC Bono, and SPC Pagel were brought into the main SRP building and moved into the side rooms to the right of the main entrance. I tried to make contact with all but SPC Bono, as she was laughing and seemed to be handling her wounds extremely well. I talked to the others and provided support, wishing I could be at their sides and continuing to ask for anything that was needed. CPT Worsley and I were then dispatched to find water and blankets and sought direction from 1LT Gargan, one of many that handled this situation MAGNIFICENTLY. We tossed computers and desk items on the floor in order to grab tablecloths for blankets at several locations and delivered them to where the wounded were receiving emergency medical treatment. We looked for scissors and anything else we could find that was needed. Soldiers were ripping off their shirts to use as pressure bandages and belts for tourniquets. I returned to CPT Gaffaney's side and beggged him to hold on as his life slipped away. He fought so unbelievably hard to keep his eyes open and to survive. His eyes were closed the last time I saw him and I knew that he was gone. I grabbed his Vietnam hero bracelet because I knew how much it meant to him, hoping to return it to his family, but was told to leave it for evidence sometime later.
Someone then had the brilliant idea for SGT Thomas and I to guard the doors to assure the shooter did not attempt to re-enter the building. I only did so briefly, as other tasks were the priority. I continued to move from room to room to provide support until the wounded were transported by ambulance, except for SSG Clark. It appeared that she was herself trying to render medical aid. I then realized she had suffered a GSW to her right arm and was going into shock. SGT Lechner had been tending to SSG Manning in the same room to which she was moved. At that point, people started screaming that the shooter was either in the building or trying to enter and civilians again, began to panic and all went running to one of the large briefing rooms. This was not to be, as there were more to tend to, the priority. A stampede ensued and the same people came running out again, injuring SGT Lechner in the process. CPT Kale, 1LT Gargan, and other medics assisted in finding a safe place for SSG Clark in one of the back rooms that could be locked as we escaped what may have been the shooter. (I seemed to have seen a silhoutte of a uniformed person with a weapon at the back door, but am unsure of what I observed.) I shoved everything off the desk so that she could be treated, as she was continuing to decompensate. Medics arrived at this point and removed her to the ambulance. CPT Worsley and I then searched the entire building for any additional wounded personnel and Soldiers. There were none to be found.
The heroes in this situation are too numerous to mention, but I witnessed acts of courage and bravery beyond what most would be capable of offering to their fallen comrades. I wish I could have done so much more and felt so very helpless throughout. I am in a company of heroes......there is absolutely no doubt of that.
One of the most poignant events of the day occurred during our arrival at the Iron Horse DFAC after the lockdown was lifted. We left the crime scene and were delivered there to a receiving line of our fellow Soldiers from both the 467th MED DET and the 1908th MED DET. There were hugs and kisses from everyone as we entered. Several Soldiers told me that they were so relieved to find that I was alive and had survived. This was a gift of untold proportions. This was a very good day to be above ground.
Kathy Platoni, Psy.D.
467th MED DET
Army Reserve Psychology Consultant to the Chief, Medical Service Corp