Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Local Vets Rattled by Fort Hood Shooting
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
WENY-- Shots fired at the nation's largest army base, Fort Hood, left three killed and more than a dozen injured- The gunman, Ivan Lopez shoot himself- violating sacred security soldiers feel on their own base.
"It's a real travesty, in your own country on a military base, you can't protect your own," said Jerry Lenox, Veteran and Commander at American Legion Post 443.
Lenox understands how large Fort Hood is and tough it could be to secure it . Still, he says the shooting brought back painful memories of the deadly shooting spree in 2009.
"I just want to know what's going on, why it happened, and what they're going to do to fix this," said Lenox. "Because twice at the same military post, that's bad. That's very bad."
Meantime, in the Northern Tier at the Sayre VFW the flag is at half mast in honor of the innocent lives taken. Trustee and Vietnam War Veteran, Edward McDonald thinks we are starting to see the signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He thinks more needs to be done for mental health.
"We're going to probably start seeing problems for the next 20 years. I mean they're starting to come out now and they come out in different forms," said McDonald. "They're not sure about this Fort Hood shooter, what was wrong with him."
Lopez was undergoing treatment for mental health issues. He had a history of instability and psychiatric issues that Lt. General Mark Milley believes to be "the fundamental underlying factor" in the incident. Lopez was found to show no violent or suicidal tendencies.
Sarah Camp of Mental Health Associates in Towanda thinks mental health education is a step in the right direction. She serves as a drug and alcohol counselor and does mental health evaluations.
She couldn't speak on Lopez's particular situation but said "I do think sometimes people fall through the cracks. And sometimes there is a negative stereotype and stigma that comes with mental health problems."
According to Lt. General Milley, authorities have no indication at this time that Lopez was targeting specific soldiers when he opened fire on the army base.