By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

KILLEEN, Texas -- Hundreds of soldiers, friends and families are finding strength in each other as they gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the 13 victims killed in Thursday's massacre.

Respect, duty and security are the things that make Fort Hood and are the qualities of a military family that is now in need of the very strength they are known for.

Tracy Kehrer's stunned tears fell down her cheeks are she remembered the shots that rang out on Thursday.

"It was a shock. It was just great sadness and fear, fear that this should be the safest place," Kehrer said. "I was angry, I was hurt, I was saddened."

For those in uniform, the flickers of lights reflected a complex of emotions, relief and then pain.

"I was 24 hours shy of being there in the same place. It very easily could be me going down there with them," said SPC James Lewis Smith, who is serving at Fort Hood. "They're brothers and soldiers. It's just senseless. It's just a tragedy.

Hoping to overcome this tragedy, they came the way they're known best -- with strength in numbers.

"No matter what rank from private to general, we all took the same oath, and I felt it was my duty to be here tonight," Smith said.