At Fort Hood, Only Numbness

No big displays for 13 dead in place that has seen 8 years of death
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2009 9:51 AM CST
Army Pfc. Joseph Foster, who was wounded during the Fort Hood shooting, along with his wife Mandi and 6-month-old daughter Keilee, speaks to the media Nov. 8, 2009 in Fort Hood, Texas.   (AP Photo/Larry W Smith, Pool)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Death is no stranger at Fort Hood, where eight years of war have spawned a numbness that persists even after last week's shootings. No large-scale memorials have been made in honor of the 13 dead; the only signs of the tragedy are lowered flags and a small bouquet and balloon near the crime scene, reports the Washington Post. But the enduring pain is apparent.

New names are chiseled each month into memorials honoring the Fort Hood troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq—500 in the past five years; a medical building has become a spiritual fitness center; the post now holds counseling, meditation, and yoga sessions. "How many tragedies can you endure without it leaving some residue on your soul?" asked a former Fort Hood chaplain. "We're suffering from a kind of emotional, spiritual and physical fatigue." And there is no rest for the weary; Fort Hood was largely back to business today, training troops who will be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.