Oklahoma Soldiers Give Blood to Help Ft. Hood Victims, Community Begins Healing
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Fort Hood shootings had Oklahoma soldiers rolling up their sleeves to give the gift of life. Oklahomans wanted to make sure there would be enough blood supplies on-hand should the need arise.
Specialist Terrace Rose gave blood for the first time and he said it probably won't be his last.
“It was quick and easy, not too painful,” said Spc. Terrace Rose with the 45th Infantry Brigade HQ.
Rose was one of dozens of local troops who heeded the call from the American Red Cross to give blood in wake of the Ft. Hood shootings.
“It feels good to help somebody out, just like the military, you do it to help other countries,” said Spc. Rose.
Following the deadly shootings, Oklahoma sent 150 units of blood to Ft. Hood to help the victims there, but that left a shortage here that needed replenishing.
“There's a need all the time, whether it's people in accidents and have surgery or blood transfusions. But blood is the center of life and have to make sure we can respond to it when we have a need,” said retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon with the Oklahoma Air National Guard.
And these soldiers are proving we can. The Red Cross collected 40 units of blood Sunday. Learn how you can help donate anytime.
And as the investigation continues into the shooting deaths at Ft. Hood, the community begins the healing process, and for believers in Killeen, Texas, that started Sunday morning in church.
At Killeen's Central Christian Church, they prayed for the victims of Thursday's massacre.
Outside, many reflected at a makeshift memorial, a flag for each of the wounded and crosses for the dead.
“We might be a small community to some people but we have big hearts,” said Killeen resident Beth Smith.
In the small towns around Ft Hood, everyone has a connection to the military, past or present. It's a bond they say no one on the outside can truly understand.