Military shootings kill more than the victims

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The NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., published a history of gun attacks and violence at military facilities in the United States over the past decade.

The study was published Friday following the April 3 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, that wounded 16 and took the lives of four others, including the shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez.

The NBC account notes the attacks reflect the violence of the larger culture, some result from domestic problems, some from drunken brawls, while others are politically or religiously motivated, such as the 2009 killings at Fort Hood when 13 people were gunned down by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who also wounded 32. Hasan was found guilty and is awaiting execution.

NBC lists 19 examples going back to June 1995 before the April 3 attacks

1. March 2014: A sailor is killed while trying to stop a man from boarding a ship in Norfolk, Va. Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Mayo, 24, jumped between the civilian shooter and another sailor, saving her life. The alleged gunman, Jeffrey Savage, was killed by Navy security forces.

2. September 2013: A government contractor kills 12 people and wounds four inside the Navy Yard complex in Washington, D.C. The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was a new worker at the yard. He was shot and killed by officers.

3. June 2013: An Army captain at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, allegedly is shot and wounded by her common-law husband, Alvin Roundtree, a retired soldier.

4. April 2013: Lloyd Gibert, a civilian employer at a Fort Knox, Ky. parking lot, is shot to death outside the post’s Army Human Resources Command building. A Fort Knox soldier, Marquinta E. Jacobs, was charged with the crime.

5. March 2013: Marine Sgt. Eusebrio Lopez, a tactics instructor, shoots and kills two colleagues at Marine Corps Base Quantico’s Officer Candidates School in Virgina before shooting himself.

6. December 2012: Spc. Marshall D. Drake, a soldier at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, shoots a fellow soldier, Pfc. Grant Wise, after a night of heavy drinking. Drake is serving 12 years in a military prison.

 7. June 2012: Spc. Ricky Elder kills himself a day after allegedly shooting and killing his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Roy L. Tisdale, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

8. May 2012: A soldier us shot by a fellow service member after a traffic accident on the grounds of Fort Carson, Colo. The shooting happened after one of the soldiers allegedly lost control of the car he was driving and crashed into the other soldier’s home.

9. April 2012: A soldier at Fort Campbell, Ky., Spc. Rico Rawls Jr., allegedly shoots and kills his wife, Jessica Rawls, at their home on the Army post.. He later shoots himself instead of surrendering to police.

10. July 2011: Army Pfc. Naser Abdo, 21, is arrested in Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood, on warrants out of Fort Campbell, Ky., for being AWOL and possessing obscene material.  Abdo admits to planning a “massive” attack at a restaurant near the Texas post.  After his arrest, the FBI said bomb-making materials were found in his motel room and said he was in possession of a large amount of ammunition, weapons and a bomb in a backpack.

11. May 2011: Sgt. Jason Seeds, a soldier at Fort Drum, N.Y., allegedly shoots his wife during a dispute at their home on the Army post. She lived, and explained later that her husband had suffered from deteriorating mental health since returning home from war.

 12. October and November 2010: Marine Corps reservist Yonathan Melaku commits a series of drive-by shootings at various military installations in northern Virginia, none of which resulted in anyone getting hurt. When law enforcement agents arrested him, they found bomb making material with him. Melaku was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

13. November 2009: Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan carries out the largest mass murder at a military installation in American history, opening fire on dozens of unarmed soldiers at a medical deployment center at Fort Hood.

14. July 2009: Army Sgt. Ryan Schlack is shot while trying to break up a fight at Fort Hood. A fellow soldier, Spc. Armano Baca, is serving 20 years in prison for the murder.

15. June 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a self-described Islamic radical, opens fire on a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark., killing one Army private, William Long, and wounding another, Quinton Ezeagwula. Muhammad was sentenced to life in prison.

16. September 2008: A soldier at Ft. Hood, shoots and kills his lieutenant then commits suicide on the balcony of his apartment.

17. October 1995: Sgt. William J. Kreutzer Jr. goes on a shooting spree at Fort Bragg, N.C., killing one officer and wounding 18 soldiers, members of the 82nd Airborne Division. He was sentenced to life in prison.

18. March 1995: Ernest J. Cooper Jr., a civilian Navy worker, shoots and wounds two co-workers at Naval Air Systems Command in Arlington, Va. then kills himself.

19. June 1994: Airman Dean Mellberg opens fire at the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital outside Spokane, Wash., killing four people and wounding 23 before a security officer kills him.

Not all of these attacks were by servicemen. And not all appear to be the result of mental problems.

But each time a headline or TV commentator shrieks out that there’s been another attack, it erodes the confidence that American employers have in hiring veterans,

Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He urged employers not to hold veterans responsible for the actions of a few troubled souls.

“This is a great military, and I wouldn’t want one incident like this (the latest Fort Hood shooting) to tarnish the reputations of the hundreds of thousands of vets in our country who run businesses, who teach at schools, who coach Little League games and who make a big difference in our community now and will for the future,” he said.

But a 2010 study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 46 percent of employers said they were worried about hiring veterans because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental health issues of returning combat veterans.

What a shame, the very people who risk everything to protect our culture and society can too easily end up rejected by it.

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