The day began as normally as any other.
At around 4 in the afternoon, I logged on to CNN, taking a brief respite from the website editing that I was working on.
I could scarcely grasp the headline. How could this happen? The largest army base in the world attacked by one of their own - it was unthinkable - a day and a half later, it is still inconceivable.
It is time for the President to bring back the draft. These soldiers have had it - enough of the frequent deployments - enough of the war zones creating havoc with their minds and senses - enough of using them up and wearing them out! If we had a draft, there would be enough soldiers to fight these damn senseless wars and only do two rotations at an estimate. If we had a draft, maybe, just maybe, those senators who vote on wars would have to send their own sons and daughters to war, not just some other person's kids - maybe they would think harder before engaging in needless wars and conflicts - maybe they would realize first hand what it means to lose one's life in the service of the country.
I immediately phoned a friend whose daughter is stationed at Fort Hood, in that very building, no less - she was, thank God, not in the office yesterday. An angel was clearly in her path to preclude her witnessing the carnage. She will, however, as a medic, have to deal with the aftermath and loss of colleagues - the friend was grateful for the call, having no idea of the events that had unfolded.
We may never know what pushed this mental health professional over the edge - this physician clearly could not heal himself and the thought of going overseas to fight in an unjust conflict might just have been too much for him.
I have thought often of my barely missing the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, having had my Green Card reissued there just prior to the bombing, of the RAF bombing at the Frankfurt Airport in the 80's - just a week prior to flying through - of countless near misses with the IRA bombings growing up in London - what I know for sure is that God has a plan for all of us - if it is not our time to go, even at the unthinkable hands of another, it is not our time to go - this friend's child has served one term in Iraq and has three small children, one of whom is a baby - it was clearly not her time to go.
My heart goes out to those who have lost lives and to their loved ones - what an agonizing time for our nation and the great state of Texas.