Faces Of Fort Hood Victims Begin To Emerge

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The shooting at Ft. Hood left 13 dead and 30 wounded. They came from cities and towns all over the U.S., where relatives and friends are left in shock.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

The shooting at Fort Hood on Thursday killed 13 people and wounded 30. And those human beings came from cities and towns all over the United States.

NPR's Larry Abramson has more on some of the victims.

LARRY ABRAMSON: Russell Seager, a VA nurse from Milwaukee, was preparing to lead a mental health team in Iraq when he was shot and killed on Thursday. Seager began training for his deployment this year at the age of 51. And this summer, he talked about what it was like to be the oldest guy in the room.

Mr. RUSSELL SEAGER (Nurse, VA Medical Center): I had to sit in a room in my boxer shorts and nothing else with a room full of young kids, and all these kids were looking at me and I was old enough to be some of their grandpas, practically, and so that was kind of an experience that you never forget.

ABRAMSON: Kiel, Wisconsin is mourning the loss of Sergeant Amy Krueger. She's being remembered for the feistiness you can still see in a photograph. Her smiling face peaks out from under her helmet. Dario Talerico, principal of Kiel High School, remembers that Krueger wasn't afraid of much.

Mr. DARIO TALERICO (Principal, Kiel High School): Whether it was on the athletic fields or just as a person, she didn't back down from a whole lot of things. So I think that probably carried over into her military career as well.

ABRAMSON: The shootings also took the life of Private First Class Aaron Nemelka of West Jordan, Utah. The 19-year-old signed up with the Army in late 2008. He was at Fort Hood preparing for a January deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. The former Eagle Scout leaves behind three siblings and a large extended family.

The Chicago area lost two young people. Twenty-one-year-old PFC Michael Pearson of Bolingbrook, Illinois was learning how to diffuse bombs. He was preparing to deploy overseas when he was caught in the crossfire. And Francheska Velez of Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood had just returned from Iraq.

She was about to be temporarily released from duty because she was pregnant. Also among those killed, 22-year-old Specialist Jason Dean Hunt of Frederick, Oklahoma, and specialist Kham Xiong of St. Paul, Minnesota, who was 23.

Larry Abramson, NPR News, Washington.

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