Quiet Reflecting

I had been looking forward to this weekend, but I find myself reflecting on the horrible shooting at Fort Hood. Until last night and today I hadn't had a great deal of time to look at the news stories surrounding the event as we were in full exercise (practice for war) mode here at Osan for the week. Yesterday we were done, but I was feeling pretty poor I think due to getting the H1N1 shot. I don't think I have the actual flu as I don't have a fever, but H1N1 is alive and well in Korea according to what I've heard from Korean news.

Anyway, today I looked more closely at the stories regarding Fort Hood. Many dealing with motivations of the shooter from his job history to his family history to his religious beliefs and how all this may have rolled in and impacted his behavior. Being a systems person I believe all these factors form a complex web of influence that shape our behavior, but we are not machines nor just basic animals running on instinct. We are responsible for our own actions and how we choose to respond to and incorporate the influences that we feel. But that said, the primary impression I was left with as I saw this morning that most of the stories are all about a concern that his religious beliefs will be "overstressed" as a source of his behavior -- I saw something missing in the story. There was a bit about the victims. But nothing - couldn't find one story about all the many folks who I know are out there. Where are the stories about these folks?

The first responders who got to the scene and secured the scene and treated the wounded. The soldiers who I know started using self aid and buddy care techniques we are trained in to help save the lives of the injured. The bases crisis response teams from their security forces who immediately rushed into harms way to protect their fellow soldiers to all those who at a moment's notice shifted from normal ops to critical operations. The medical professionals in the local hospitals who even now continue to fight to save lives. The family members who rushed to the sides of those they love. The family members who are likely taking care of homes and children for others back home so that other family members can reach out. The pastors and their flocks who are surrounding the hurting. The people who are in prayer for the families of the victims and for those who still struggle to live. Where are the stories about the soldiers preparing to deploy and take the fight to the enemy so that incidents like this will not be common in our homeland though we know there are those out there who would love the opportunity to walk into a crowded mall and emulate the actions of Hasan. Yet many of these same soldiers now have lost some of their friends and comrads from their very units. But they will go forth and they will serve putting themselves between our nation and those who would seek to make her bleed. There are people out there who are taking donations and doing anything they can to support the hurting. I wish we had some stories about that.

So rarely do we hear this side of the story. We focus on the pathetic and evil person and how powerful force or forces could turn him into such, and that is a legitimate conversation. Then we focus on not over reacting by equating the evil action of the evil person to people who are like him in some way while also trying to see if perhaps we can learn how something can be a problem and indeed does encourage people to act on evil. But we rarely talk about the positive side -- how people are noble and good and the forces that turn them into such -- how people throw themselves into service at moments like this to care for the hurting, in some cases even throwing themselves into harms way to save a life itself. I know it happened because I know the caliber of the American soldier and I know the caliber of the American military family member and I know that America, wounded though we are and in many ways divided against ourselves, still has a heart beat and the blood of liberty and service and nobility still flows through or veins.

I wish we had more stories about that.