At Fort Hood Area, A Day Of Reflection
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's Jeff Brady reports.
JEFF BRADY: Unidentified Group: (Singing) Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC")
BRADY: As Pastor Ken Cavey stood up, an American flag was displayed on a huge screen behind him.
KEN CAVEY: Thursday will be etched in our minds and our hearts forever. But we move on, we move past it in victory with the power and the strength of Lord Jesus Christ.
BRADY: For some, spiritual comfort was important. For others, their needs were more basic.
INSKEEP: Unidentified Woman #2: (unintelligible)
INSKEEP: Unidentified Woman #3: You did a wonderful meal. Thank you very much.
BRADY: Denise Chaviasky(ph) was one of the military spouses who showed up at a conference room at Fort Hood with food.
DENISE CHAVIASKY: This is fried chicken, potatoes, vegetables and cookies.
BRADY: Chaviasky's husband, Scott, will soon be deployed to Iraq for the fourth time. She says on Sunday morning, his commander's wife called, asking if she could bring food for families of the victims. She volunteered gladly.
CHAVIASKY: Because if it was my husband, I would like someone else to stand up and help and let me know that there's support and that I'm not alone out there.
BRADY: An hour later, some of the donated food ended up at the Howard family's house. Sergeant Alvin Howard was shot in the shoulder Thursday. He's recovering in the hospital. Nine-year-old Alana Howard(ph) talked about a recent visit to see her dad.
ALANA HOWARD: We hugged him and gave him a kiss in the cheek.
BRADY: Then Alana looked at her younger sister.
HOWARD: She started crying when we went to the hospital, because she never seen our dad bandaged up like that.
BRADY: Sergeant Howard's wife, Kinesia(ph), says the food means a lot to her, but just a few days on, she's still having a difficult time.
KINESIA HOWARD: His unit has been very supportive. The care team and everybody has been very helpful, and I just want to say thank you all and my prayers goes out to the families that lost their loved ones. Yeah.
BRADY: But his boss at Fort Hood said he was a good psychiatrist and a valued member of her team. His imam in Killeen said Hasan attended prayers Thursday morning, just hours before the shooting. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey, speaking on ABC, warned against guessing what the gunman's motives were.
GEORGE CASEY: I think the speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.
BRADY: Jeff Brady, NPR News, Killeen, Texas.
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